b. 1951, Dublin, Ireland.
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. Current and forthcoming solo exhibitions include Concerned, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (7–14 September 2018) and Juarez to Aleppo, Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, University of Texas, El Paso (2019). Recent solo exhibitions include War Changes Its Address: The Aleppo Paintings, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2018); J’Accuse!, The Void, Derry (2015–2016); The Absence of Justice Demands This Act, Fergus McCaffrey, New York (2015); X Espacio de Arte, Mexico City (2013); European Parliament, Brussels (2012) and Cultuurcentrum de Werft, Geel, Belgium (2012). Public collections include Irish Museum of Modern Art; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; Museum of Fine Art Houston, Texas; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, The Netherlands; Alvar Alto Museum, Finland.