Last Updated on November 1, 2023

Malta International Contemporary Art Space (MICAS), the first not-for-profit platform for international contemporary art in Malta due to open in 2024, has announced that celebrated artist and Royal Academician, Conrad Shawcross, will premiere his anticipated sculptural display What is to Become is Already Here in November of 2023 during MICAS’s annual International Art Weekend.

Many of the works will remain on display when MICAS opens its galleries in October 2024. 

“I am honoured to be the first artist to exhibit at the new MICAS campus,” Conrad Shawcross said. “The exhibit title What is to Become is Already Here alludes to its nature: a harkening of things to come. While MICAS will celebrate the contemporary, the building is contained within historic fortifications that have existed for hundreds of years and have witnessed the most breathtaking of histories. The title suggests a sense of unknown things beginning to materialise on the horizon.”

London-born Shawcross connected with the history and geography of Malta and found inspiration in Malta International Contemporary Art Space’s location: its proximity to the sea and the marina and the panoramic views afforded from its elevated position. MICAS worked closely with Shawcross to curate a display of his works throughout the over 90,000 square-foot site, aiming to guide visitors around the grounds and anchored by a sculpture on the fortification walls overlooking the harbour.

MICAS’s International Art Weekend will feature a keynote lecture by Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Emeritus Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and an ensuing discussion with a panel that will also include Shawcross, as well as remarks from Chair Phyllis Muscat and Artistic Director Edith Devaney.

Following the International Art Weekend and leading up to the 2024 opening, visits to the site to view the Shawcross works will be available to the public by appointment on the Malta International Contemporary Art Space website.

“Since its inception, MICAS has engaged with international artists and invested in giving greater visibility to the Maltese contemporary art idiom – in service of MICAS’s mission to strengthen Malta’s cultural infrastructure through the power of contemporary art,” Edith Devaney, Artistic Director, MICAS, said. “We’re thrilled with the programming we have planned as we move towards opening in 2024, and we’re looking forward to sharing more soon.” 

MICAS’s long-term goal is to produce art exhibitions, events and educational programming that engage the international and local communities and celebrate the special and singular landscape of Malta.

About Malta International Contemporary Art Space (MICAS)

Rendering of interior at Malta International Contemporary Art Space.
Rendering of interior at Malta International Contemporary Art Space. Courtesy MICA.

MICAS is a forthcoming art space that will strengthen Malta’s cultural infrastructure by providing a platform for contemporary art and internationalisation. With its launch in 2024, Malta will take a great step forward and become a proactive player in the contemporary art world.

The MICAS mission is to be an advocate of contemporary art by raising public awareness to the significance of the visual arts in contemporary life, and by bringing to the forefront the way art and artists help mediate and interpret the world we live in.

MICAS is a Government of Malta infrastructural legacy project for the Culture and the Arts sector that will be realised through state funded restoration of historical fortifications. This project is part-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund – European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020.

About Conrad Shawcross

Imbued with an appearance of scientific rationality, Conrad Shawcross’s sculpture explore subjects that lie on the borders of geometry and philosophy, physics and metaphysics. Attracted by failed quests for knowledge in the past, he often appropriates redundant theories and methodologies to create ambitious structural and mechanical montages, using a wide variety of materials and media, and often working on an epic scale.

Different technologies and natural forces inspire his forms, but his mysterious machines and structures remain enigmatic, filled with paradox and wonder. Some have an absurdist melancholy feel, while others tend to the sublime.

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