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Title: Willie Apap : a critical analysis of his oeuvre, with particular reference to the mature period : 1950 – 1970
Authors: Cassar, Maria
Keywords: Apap, Willie, 1918-1970
Christianity and art -- Catholic Church -- History -- 20th century -- Malta
Portrait painting -- History -- 20th century -- Malta
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: Chapter 1 looks at the Roman cultural environment, the socio-political and artistic context, their influences on the artist and transition to the post-war years, 1938-1950. Apap's sojourn in the Eternal City started when the tensions of war were on the horizon while the Fascist artistic idiom had gained considerable ground. The war years and the trials he had to endure were to leave a mark on Apap, also seeing him transit from the classical and realist idiom to a more expressionist one. Chapter 2 looks at the evolution and artistic development of his early maturity period: 1950 – 1960. This was the period when he had emerged from the influences of his Roman teachers and was gaining reputation as a portrait artist in Malta, Italy and the United Kingdom. It was also the time when he started to feature on the exhibition circuit and experiment with figurative themes, moving from his mainline landscapes to ballerinas. This was also the period when he continued to develop his relationship with light and the technical stimuli for his strisce, scumbling and other painting techniques. Chapter 3 looks at the consolidation in Apap’s style: 1960 – 1970, his late mature period. His maniera continued to manifest more profound spirituality and moods as an aesthetic emotion brought out so vividly by the colours and shades in his various figural works. In particular, his ballerinas, clowns, women and their props, portraiture, scapes and stills are analysed in detail, as well his discipline at skteching. Apap was by now travelling throughout Italy, from Scandinavia to South America, maturing his art to powerful levels. Chapter 4 looks at Apap’s ‘sacred revolution’, a period which started in earnest in the 1950s and after an initial Byzantine and Mannerist influence with an inclination towards elongation it evolved into a style which characterised his late mature period. Some of his landmark sacred exhibitions in Italy, successes at important competitions as well as notable sacred works are covered and it also analyses how this period marked an evolution of his intense, figurative and spiritual idiom. Chapter 5 considers the environs and circles in which Apap worked and the friendships which characterised his 1960s, including the collaborations and possible influences from Italian contemporary artists on the development of his artistic style. The evolution of the Malta art scene during that period is also examined here. This chapter preludes the Conclusion by looking at Apap’s legacy in general and potential stylistic influences both on contemporary as well as successor Maltese artists. Chapter 6 contains a summary of the main findings and the concluding observations as well as leaders to areas that would merit further research in the future.
Description: M.A.HIST.OF ART
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2017
Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2017

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