by James Vella Clark
Mark Geoffrey Muscat (b. 1986) is showcasing a new collection of watercolours of land and seascapes in what is his third solo exhibition.
Having been brought up in an artistic environment, Muscat himself showed a talent for art at a tender age. He received a varied artistic education in Malta and abroad. He studied Architectural Photography at the Politecnico Di Milano under the tutorship of Professor Marco Introini and pursued painting lessons under the late Harry Alden, Winston Hassall and Jessica DeBattista, as well as Anton Grech at the University of Malta. Having read for a degree at the University of Malta in Architectural & Civil Engineering, specializing in Architectural Design, Muscat later furthered his studies abroad, where he obtained a Master’s Degree at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.
His first solo exhibition was held in 2011 at the Auberge d’Italie, Valletta, while his second exhibition was held in 2017 at the Valletta University of Malta campus, while his first participation in a collective exhibition was held in 2007.
The current exhibition, titled ‘UNTITLED’, comprises of 26 watercolours that perfectly encapsulate Muscat’s style and technique, one that has matured over the sixteen years in which he has exhibited his work.
Each painting portrays a landscape in which Malta and Gozo feature emphatically. A bright palette remains an important feature of Muscat’s paintings with colours, however, becoming somewhat subdued in this collection of paintings.
Earth and cold colours feature prominently, as does the black pen and a black wash that is a recurring feature in Muscat’s work, here visible, for instance, in Marsaxlokk.
Muscat’s watercolours are executed in a loose and fluid, wet-on-wet technique which also contains a number of drawn lines. This all prima technique is testament of a confident hand at work. His experience allows his hand to quickly move across the paper support achieving freshness of execution. This watercolour technique allows no room for error whilst also here being exploited to capture the desired atmosphere, such as in Dahlet Qorrot.
The exhibition, curated by Dr Charlene Vella, is open till Sunday May 2 at The Palm Court Lounge, The Phoenicia Malta.
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