IMAGE: BRIAN MAGUIRE, OVER OUR HEADS THE HOLLOW SEAS CLOSED UP, 2016, ACRYLIC ON LINEN, 290 X 270 CM / 114.2 X 106.3 IN
A fiercely expressive painter, Brian Maguire’s work essentially emerges from social and political situations and approaches painting as a gesture of solidarity. He operates a truly engaged practice, compelled by the raw realities of humanity’s violence against itself, and the potential for justice.
Since 2010, his work has focused on the Mexican city Juárez, addressing the phenomenon of feminocidio – the killing of women ostensibly due to their gender – by working with the families and women affected, and by becoming ‘embedded’ with crime reporters on the city’s newspaper El Norte. Of the work, Maguire states, “My purpose is to show respect to the victims of violence, to remove all the easy rationalisations which excuse, cover over, and protects us from this reality. As the man is dead, the painting keeps his death in the present. The absence of justice demands this act.”
In connection with this work, Maguire recently collaborated on a documentary feature film, Blood Rising, which was screened at Curzon Cinema, London (2014) and premiered at the closing Gala of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (2013). In the past, Maguire has often undertaken residencies in closed institutions such as mental homes and prisons. In these situations, the artist focuses on elucidating individual identity – an emphasis that has, at times, led to disrupting the status quo.
Maguire has shown extensively in Europe and the US, also participating in shows in Korea, China and Japan. Recent solo exhibitions include The Void, Derry (2015–2016); Fergus McCaffrey, New York (2015); X Espacio de Arte, Mexico City (2013); European Parliament, Brussels (2012) and Cultuurcentrum de Werft, Geel, Belgium (2012). In 2000, a major retrospective toured from Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane to Crawford Art Gallery, Cork and the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston.
Group exhibitions and biennales include the Irish Museum of Modern Art; WIELS, Brussels; VISUAL, Carlow; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; RAM Foundation, Rotterdam; National Gallery of Contemporary Art, Korea; Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Japan; Dublin Contemporary (2011); the Beijing Biennale (2008) and the 24th Sāo Paolo Bienal (1998).
Maguire’s work is held in numerous public and private collections including the Museum of Fine Art Houston, USA; Irish Museum of Modern Art; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; Trinity College Dublin; Alvar Aalto Museum, Finland; Gemeentemuseum, Den Hague, Netherlands; Wolverhampton Art Gallery, UK; and Crawford Art Gallery, Cork.