Anton Agius (1 December 1933 - 19 October 2008) was a sculptor and painter.
Training locally and abroad
He was born at Rabat, Malta and commenced his art apprenticeship under Joseph Galea, Vincent Apap and Emvin Cremona. Between 1950 and 1953 he studied art at the Malta Society of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce, in Valletta and continued his studies at the School of Arts under Ġorġ Borg. In 1957 he won a Malta government scholarship at the Scuola del Nudo dell'Associazione Artistica Internazionale at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, and to St Martin’s School, where he was awarded the national diploma in design, modelling, sculpture and letter cutting.
Anton came back to Malta in 1961 and he was determined to find an original approach to his artistic truth. He used to visit places like Ġnejna to examine rock formation, look for fossils, and analyse the shape of vines and olive trees. These media were the basic inspiration during Anton’s early phases of his career.
In 1968, Anton exhibited a number of his works. During this phase of his work, Anton’s artistic expression was fast developing into pure abstract. His creativity was always looking solely for forms. Later, Anton changed his style since he came to the conclusion that abstract art was not satisfying him as an effective means of communication with his audiences. At this point, Anton Agius’s style went through a dramatic change but was only another facet of the versatility of his unique talent.
Anton worked as an emergency teacher in various secondary schools. For ten years he taught sculpture at the Malta School of Arts.
Agius’s works are to be found in private collections in many parts of the world. Former German Chancellor Willy Brandt and Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi possess some of Agius’ works of art. Among the artist’s major works are the Workers Monument at l-Imsida, the 31 March 1979 Monument at il-Birgu, the monument of Dun Mikiel Xerri u Sħabu in Valletta, the monument of Mgr Ġużeppi DePiro at Rabat, the statue of Manwel Dimech at Valletta, the statue of Ġużè Ellul Mercer at Dingli, the statue commemorating the victims of the Sette Giungno riots in Valletta, the bust of President Anton Buttigieg at Qala, Gozo, and the sepulchral work Kurċifiss ta’ Llum for the Dominican Order.
Anton Agius has been honoured with several prizes and awards for his artistic achievement, including First Prize in the Human Rights Art Exhibition held in 1968 at the Malta National Museum, the Onoroficenza Per Meriti by the Associazione Culturale Amici di Pan of Florence in 1979, the Artist of the Year award in 1980 and in 1982 the Targa d’Oro by the Associazione Nazionale Artistica Culturale of Italy. In 1999 he was awarded First Prize in the International Art Biennale of Malta. In 2006 he was awarded a Gold Medal in recognition for his achievements in the Arts by the Malta Society of Arts.
Anton was married to Mary Louise and they had three sons, two of whom are dead. Their third son is named Anton after his father.
He died at the age of 74.