1996 ‘Debut’ Museum of fine arts, Valleta 1998 ‘Twelve’, Karmenu Mangion Gallery, Swatar 2005 ‘Of lines and drawings’ St James Cavalier, Valletta 2018 ‘Works ’ Cavalieri Art Hotel, St Julians 2019 ‘50 Shades of colour’ Casino Notabile, Mdina
Nicholas De Piro acknowledges the aims, intellect and style of Victor Manduca’s show of works at Casino Notabile in Mdina
Victor Manduca is more than a painter of pictures. He has looked hard, everywhere at every form of art, creative, ingenious, stunning and simple. He has approached pinnacles, the heights, the goals, of both talent and intellect. He has searched boldly all the way from old masters to the present.
He has dabbled sometimes painfully, sometimes radiantly with his own interpretations of what he felt inspired the genius of the past in France, England and Italy, yes, and Spain and the Americas. He has taken in the naïve and the sophisticated, the serious and the fickle as well as misery and delight. He has looked at the orient. He is culturally equipped, now more than ever, to fuel his own vehicle of creativity and to drive it without shyness, hesitation or doubt. He is now undoubtedly there.
His exhibition tests our personal education with strong stylised hints from the greatest painters. Much of what Manduca shares with us is clearly exciting to him and valid to the appreciative. He has the ability, certainly as far as I am concerned, to make me want to remove a cherished picture off the wall and replace it with one of his. Richard England saw the artist’s talent all the way back to his first exhibition and now for his sixth show he deserves recognition as one of a few, right up there.
His new exhibition divided into Fifty Shades of Colour and Fifty Shades of Black tests our personal education with strong stylised hints from the greatest painters, to political satire, even from the US to Albrecht Dürer and all the way to John Singer Sargent and on to Egon Schiele! I got an oriental glimpse or two here and there and much admired a resilient set of pictures of a variety of our fish pictured and aptly named Qarnita, Stilla and Żiemel Tal-Baħar, and also Ċipullazz. There is so much more as I consider the artist’s pondering and sympathies, and there is possibly smile, perhaps even a hug at the Surrealists. I was always moved and hopefully able to recognise the aims, the intellect and the style of Manduca. On this occasion I am pleased to report that he is truly on form.