Norbert Francis Attard
27th September 2018
Born in Malta in 1951. Lives and works on the island of Gozo (Malta), Also based in Berlin (Germany) since 2010.
He started as a self-taught painter and graphic artist before turning to installation art in 1997. He graduated in Architecture from the University of Malta in 1977, practicing the profession as architect for twenty years until 1996. He lived in Germany in 1978/1979 working with the firm Licht in Raum, directed by Johannes Dinnebier, one of Germany’s pioneers in light design. Attard’s contemporary art practice incorporates architecture, sculpture, photography, video and installation, to explore his major interests in places and their memories. He blurs the boundaries of these disciplines, a characteristic of Attard’s work, to incorporate the irreducible physicality of sites, and to explore their sedimented multiple layers of memory, treating them as a product of place, of social interaction, and as a generative process. He is renowned for his poetic and varied approaches to artistic projects. He deliberately combines social, cultural, political, scientific and religious themes with a bold arrangement of unorthodox materials, meticulously constructed with an architect’s disciplined eye for detail. He investigates elements of irony, duality, dichotomy and ambivalence and combines everyday materials and found objects in diverse manners.
He is a founding member of stART (2002) – a group of Maltese contemporary artists; a committee member of the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts (2002-2005); committee member of Piazza Teatru Rjal (2013-2020), director of GOZO contemporary since 2001 – an art space, offering self-directed residencies to international and local artists, on the island of Gozo. Norbert Francis Attard is founder of the Norbert Francis Attard Foundation (formerly META Foundation) which is the organising body of Valletta Contemporary (VC) which he established in April 2018. He is currently the artistic director of Valletta Contemporary.
He has created numerous installations and has participated in many international exhibitions namely in Scotland, England, Denmark, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Austria, Italy, Spain, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Turkey, Israel, Greece, South Korea, Cyprus, the Canary Islands, Ireland, Australia, U.S.A., China, Japan and Taiwan. Norbert Francis Attard represented Malta in the 48th Venice Biennale, Italy, in 1999.
He has exhibited internationally: Court of Justice, Luxemburg, (2017); Council of Europe, Strasbourg (2016); Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2015); Beijing Biennale, Beijing, China (2015); Sculpture by the Sea: Aarhus, Denmark (2015); Bewegter Wind, Kassel, Germany, (2014); Fjerrerup I Bund & Grund, Fjellerup, Denmark, (2013); Manifesta 9 Parallel Events, Genk, Belgium (2012); Beaufort 04, De Panne, Belgium (2012); Meridian/Urban Project, Berlin, Germany (2011); Galeria Nuble, Santander, Spain (2011); OSTRALE 011, Dresden, Germany; I-Park, Connecticut, USA (2011); 5th Biennial VentoSul, Curitiba, Brazil (2009); 25th Alexandria Biennial, Egypt (2009); CUBE OPEN, Manchester, UK (2009); 2nd Bienal de Canarias, Canary Islands (2009); INHABIT 09, Brisbane, Australia (2009); Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK. (2008); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2008); INTRUDE 366, Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China (2008); 3rd Echigo Tsumari Triennale, Japan, (2006); Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan (2005); Casoria Museum of Contemporary Art, Naples, Italy (2005); ARTIADE, Athens, Greece (2004); Macedonia Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece (2003); 8th Havana Biennale (2003); 2nd Liverpool Biennale (2002); Edinburgh International Festival, Scotland (2002); FLOATING LAND, Noosa, Australia (2001); DIASPORA, Oviedo, Spain (1998), amongst others.
Photo credit Joe Smith