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Artist Gabriel Caruana passes away aged 89

'One of Malta's greatest artists'

Mr Caruana's 1986 ceramic work 'King and Queen'. Photo: Gabriel Caruana Foundation

Mr Caruana's 1986 ceramic work 'King and Queen'. Photo: Gabriel Caruana Foundation

Updated 9.50pm

Renowned artist Gabriel Caruana passed away on Monday at the age of 89. 

Photo: WikipediaPhoto: Wikipedia

Mr Caruana was one of Malta’s most accomplished artists and a pioneer in the local modern art scene.

Known primarily for his ceramic work and sculpture, Mr Caruana held solo exhibitions across Europe and had pieces exhibited in shows all across the globe, from Melbourne to Detroit and Osaka.

Aside from his artistic achievements, Mr Caruana was the driving force behind the push to convert an old mill in Birkirkara into a centre for modern art, the Mill Arts, Culture and Crafts Centre, as well as a founding member of a foundation bearing his name which seeks to promote local artists.  

In 1999 he was awarded a national medal for artistic achievement, and in 2003 the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts honoured him with the “Premju Għarfien Kulturali”.

He received further recognition from the Malta Society for Arts in 2014 when he was given a gold medal for his contribution as an artist and art educator.

In 2017, the University of Malta awarded him a Master of Letters – Honoris Causa. In an oration given on that occasion, architect Richard England praised Mr Caruana effusively, saying his approach to his work was "joyous and exuberant" and the result "inventive, innovative and beautiful."

Writing on Twitter, Culture Minister Owen Bonnici said Mr Caruana "achieved greatness through his distinct courage to challenge the status quo."

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat described him as one of Malta's "greatest artists of all time." 

 

Mr Caruana poses with a 1990 mixed media work of his titled 'Oval'. Photo: Gabriel Caruana FoundationMr Caruana poses with a 1990 mixed media work of his titled 'Oval'. Photo: Gabriel Caruana Foundation

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