Philip Chircop

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Philip Chircop

Philip Chircop (2 December 1943 - 15 August 2019) was an abstract artist from Malta.

Born in Ħaż-Żebbuġ, Malta, Philip Chircop studied for ten years at the Malta Government School of Art under George Borg, Antoine Camilleri, Karmenu Mangion and Esprit Barthet. He also attended a summer course at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Perugia, Italy in 1972.

Chircop joined the education department as a teacher of art with a long career of 43 years in teaching. Considered as one of Malta’s foremost abstract artists, Chircop has taken part in numerous solo and collective exhibitions in Malta and abroad. His work has developed quietly but intensively over the years with an ever fresh insight into the innumerable facets of the fascinating realm of what has been termed the pure and subtle art of the abstract.

He started to exhibit his work in 1958 when he took part in a collective exhibition at Palazzo de la Salle in Valletta. Since then Chircop has had several solo exhibitions and participated in numerous collective exhibitions in Malta and abroad particularly in Spain, the USA, Edinburgh, the UK, Italy, France, Russia, Sicily, Libya, Australia and Germany. During the solo exhibition in Lanester, France, he was presented with a Bronze Medal by the Mayor at the Hotel de Ville of Lanester, a medal awarded only to distinguished personalities who make a special contribution to cultural life in the town. He was twice 1st Prize winner at the Malta Biennale in 2007 and 2009. Also in 2007 Chircop was awarded a Special Award for his inspiring abstract individual exhibition at the Baia D’Oro in Mollarella, Sicily.

After his Retrospective Exhibition at the Bank of Valletta Centre at Santa Venera in December 2006 in which featured 71 exhibits of which 63 were all abstracts, he was featured in the BOV 2010 calendar. Chircop’s latest local personal exhibition was held in 2010 at St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, in Valletta. Later that same year a book “Philip Chircop – Abstract Expressions” was published. It provides a critical analysis of Chircop’s work by Prof. Joseph Paul Cassar. His abstract expressions show unprecedented freedom and imaginative response, a natural condition that makes use of arbitrary colour schemes, vehement brush–marks, exaggerated rich textures and collage. On the occasion of this publication Philip Chircop was comprehensively featured in the magazine “Flair”.

Chircop designed 10 CD Covers of Chamber Music composed by the Gozitan composer Prof. Joseph Vella and in 1995 he designed the book cover of Gregory Lucente’s “Over the Mountain”. In 2007 Chircop was twice featured in the bimestrale Art&tra, which is a Bimestrale Publication di Arte & Cultura published in Italy. He also features in the prestigious books both by Nicholas de Piro “Artists Who Painted Malta” and with two portraits in the book “The National Portrait Gallery of Malta”.

Philip Chircop is permanently represented among others, at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta, at UNESCO Building in New York, at the Galleria Zodiaco and at the Museo della Grafica di Naro, both in Sicily, Museo Tempra at Palazzo Gattopardo di Palme di Montechiaro, Sicily, Banca S. Angelo, Licata Sicily, HSBC Bank, Bank of Valletta and Central Bank Malta, Malta Union of Teachers and other public places in Malta and abroad such as UNICEF, United Nations N.Y., Permanent Mission of Malta for the United Nations N.Y., Consul of Malta in Luxemberg, Italian Embassy in Brazilia, Embassy of the F.R.G in Blantyre, Malawi and others. Paintings in private collections are found also in London, Paris, Lanester, Mannhein, Dusseldorf, Brussels, Edinburgh, Palermo, Milan, Switzerland, Barcelona, Brazilia, Australia, New York, Washington, Massachusetts, U.S.A., Connecticut, Moscow, Tripoli, and Malta.

Chircop was married to Yolanda Testa and they have two daughters, both professional musicians: Natascha (a pianist and flautist) married to Marco Rivoltini (professional pianist) having a son, Mishayel, and Tatjana (a violinist and pianist).

Chircop died on 15 August 2019.