Through a reading of history and economics Brian Maguire finds entry points that ask us to look again on what constitutes public endeavour. Since leaving his position as Head of Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin early last year, Maguire has spent time developing work in Europe and Central America, and this is borne out by the broadening themes emerging through this new body of work.
Whilst Maguire continues to deal with the persistent inequalities inherent in societies across the globe two elements characterise and define this exhibition. Firstly and, ironically, given the subject matter, the paintings per se display a level of qualities and skill that seduce the viewer and make them impossible to resist. Despite and because of the underlying reality issuing from his work, paintings such as ‘Heart of a Heartless World’ and ‘Contemporary Ruin (Dublin)’ present a powerful and painterly tour de force.
Secondly, these works for all of their confronting honesty reveal a shift from the overtly human to a humanist sensibility, which at its core prevents them from being read didactically. In paintings such as ‘Apartment Block, Quai de Seine’ and ‘Turin Railway Junction’, history and social democracy are called upon to provide testament to the social and economic decisions that improved the quality of life of citizens, ultimately reminding us that we are the makers of our own world.
Maguire has exhibited throughout Europe and the Americas including representative and curated exhibitions at Drexel University, Philadelphia; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; National Gallery of Contemporary Art, Seoul; the Beijing Biennale; the Sao Paulo Biennale; The Houston Contemporary Art Museum; The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions have been held in The Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray; Redbud Gallery, Houston; the Ram Institute Rotterdam; Meulensteen Art Museum, Slovakia; Whitebox, New York. This show marks the beginning of a number of solo shows in Ireland, the UK and Belgium.
He is represented in the collections of the Houston Museum of Fine Art; the Wolverhampton Art Gallery; the Irish Museum of Modern Art; the Haag Gamentan Museum; The Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane; Jyvasklan Taidemuseo, Finland; Crawford Municipal Gallery; Alver Alto Museum, Finland among others and in numerous private collections in the UK, Ireland and the US.
Please follow the link below to view images of Brian Maguire's paintings on show in his current solo exhibition. The images will appear in a grid format, simply click on each image to enlarge and the title and details will be shown below each one.