Daniel Rios Rodriguez
about the artists
b. 1979, Dublin, Ireland.
Working primarily with sculpture and occasionally painting, Aleana Egan engenders psychological states and memories through enigmatic arrangements of objects and forms. Her sculptural works appear restrained yet laden with subtle references to the built environment using materials such as plaster, cardboard, matte paint and various fabrics. A meandering, sensuous line and sense of fluidity is carried from her sculptures into her painting, giving form to a sense of flux, openness and mutability. Egan’s practice is shaped by her deep engagement with works of literature and cinema: never opting for direct representation, she uses this source material as an entryway, absorbing the moods and tones it evokes. Her forms and shapes act as traces or shifting responses, tentative articulations of remembered places or everyday moments.
b. 1962, Newtownards, Northern Ireland.
Mark Francis’ ongoing fascination with the ‘mysteries of the universe’ and in particular sound recordings provides a point of departure in the studio. An invisible energy which powers all cosmic activity including our very own existence is given a form, colour and structure in these new, hypnotic paintings.
'As a starting point, I visualise the universe is made up of a loosely structured grid where order and chaos can reside. As the work develops, this quickly gets lost or moves aside in the painting process. I like to visualise the paintings as the photographic moment capturing the birth and death of invisible energy'.
b. 1962, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Callum Innes creates abstract paintings that carry a powerful tension between control and fluidity. Dissolution is central to his practice: layers of deep pigments are brushed over with turpentine, breaking down sections of paint and leaving watery, trace elements, before being painted over again. Repeating this process of painting, dissolving and repainting multiple times, Innes builds depth and a sense of history: oblique panels of dense pigments become embedded and fortified, while tiny trickles or rivulets of liquified paint point to their underlying fragility. This meticulous approach to materials is carried across into the artists’ watercolours and pastels, in which pigment is built up into velveteen layers. Though Innes’ works may seem minimal or geometric at first glance, they are in fact always slightly “off kilter”, governed by imperfectly drawn lines and slightly softened shapes. This fallibility and humanity, put in contrast with the artist’s skill and precision as a painter, results in works of great poetic and contemplative power – cementing Innes’ place as one of the most significant abstract painters of his generation.
b.1960, Cardiff, Wales.
Merlin James approaches the history and legacy of painting with a highly considered and unconventional viewpoint. As commented by Artforum’s Sherman Sam, his work “has sought to rigorously problematise the experience of painting while simultaneously deepening its formal language”. Generally small in scale, his works depict diverse subject matter including vernacular architecture, riverside views, post-industrial landscapes, empty interiors, mysterious figures and scenes of sexual intimacy. James' works on canvas are often collaged with tufts of hair or sawdust, distressed, pierced, cropped or heavily overpainted. Also an erudite and thoughtful critic, James has a deep engagement with the history of art and this knowledge shapes and informs his practice. His works refine and renew many of painting’s most time-honoured concerns – genre and narrative, pictorial space and expressive gesture, the emotive resonance of colour and texture.
Described by critic Isobel Haribson as “epic, enigmatic and evocative”, Elizabeth Magill’s highly idiosyncratic paintings present subjective and psychological takes on the landscape genre. Rich with kaleidoscopic patterning and fragmented forms, these vistas are embedded in place – usually rural settings on the edges of settlements – but transported through the artist’s imagination, memories, photographs or moods to be presented as something other: lush, visionary recollections of hills, lakes, hedges and skies glowing with ambient light. The term ‘inscape’ has been used to describe Magill’s practice: landscapes not based on direct observation, but imbued with a sense of interiority and reflection. Though they have a cinematic beauty, her paintings can also be eerie or unsettling: trees or telephone wires conceal the view; birds are silhouetted in the dark; rare human figures feel distant, phantasmal; colours feel subdued, or occasionally toxic. Magill’s complex and densely layered paintings are produced using various techniques, at times incorporating stencilling, screenprinting and collage, as well as the pouring, blending, dripping, splashing and scraping away of paint. Film and photography are also central to her research, shaping the way the artist looks at landscape, and infusing her approach to light, tone and atmosphere.
b. 1951, Dublin, Ireland.
In his new series, 'Arizona' Brian Maguire continues his critique of contemporary capitalism, painting images based on events at the southern border of the USA. Some five years ago Maguire began to research the annual fatalities of Central American migrants in the deserts around Tucson, Arizona. The numbers of those who have died are frightening, the recent annual average is 145 deaths. In September 2019 Maguire made contact with the Chief Medical Officer of Pima County who allowed access to the images of the dead which were originally created by law enforcement. From 500 cases Maguire selected 90 as an archive from which to create these paintings. The dead remain anonymous to protect the families' privacy.
Since the very beginning of his career in the 1970s, Brian Maguire has approached painting as an act of solidarity. He operates a truly engaged practice, compelled by the raw realities of humanity’s violence against itself, and the potential for justice. Maguire’s preoccupations draw him to the margins of the art world—alternative space, prisons, women’s shelters, and psychiatric institutions—making shows in traditional gallery and museum spaces something of a rarity. He works slowly, using photographic sources, searching for that point where illustration ceases and art begins.
b. 1962, Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
d. 2011, Edinburgh, Scotland.
William McKeown made paintings, drawings, prints and installations that captured the openness and transcendent power of nature. Guided by a belief in the primacy of feeling, his paintings took on the guise of objective minimalism and the monochrome, but presented us with so much more: nature as something real, tangible, all around us, to be touched and felt. Each painting is slightly off-square, undermining the perfection of geometry, and scaled roughly to the size of the human chest, as if mirroring the capacity of our lungs to breathe in air. Sometimes presented in ‘room installations’, wooden structures with wallpaper, windows and artificial light that mimic a clinical setting, his works act as windows out onto the world – an escape from the repression and mundanity of everyday life and into the lightness and expansiveness of the sky, using subtle gradations of tone to create moments of exquisite beauty and bliss. Frequently using titles such as ‘Hope’ and ‘Freedom’, McKeown steered our attention to the air around us, capturing the feeling of our emergence into light and reminding us of our proximity to the infinite.
William McKeown was born in Tyrone, 1962, and was living and working in Edinburgh at the time of his death on October 25, 2011.
Daniel Rios Rodriguez
b. 1978, Killeen, Texas.
Born out of meditation on the artist’s dreams, Daniel Rios Rodriguez’s exuberant semi-figurative paintings combine images of nature and fantastical visions that reflect on the artist’s identity and personal experience. Coarse layers of impasto paint embellish wood panels in offbeat shapes: assemblages of tilting rectangles meet solar, starburst forms with jagged edges. These constructions often bear impromptu frames, built from frayed strips of rope, nails or copper wire, introducing a collaged, sculptural element to the work. Rios Rodriguez introduces us to a rich world of imagery from his inherited and personal cultural identity and his immediate physical environment. His paintings present an unconventional treatment of the traditional subjects of European painting created with a fascinating array of non-traditional materials that come from the world around the artist yet resonate far and wide.
b. 1967, Zurich, Switzerland.
Liliane Tomasko’s abstract paintings employ a distinctive, bold lyricism, with an equally unabashed sense of colour. The artist often begins with a study of the personal effects of everyday domesticity such as bedding or clothing to create work that suggests a gateway into the realms of sleep and dreaming; delving into the gulf between what we understand as the ‘conscious’ and ‘subconscious.’ Recent paintings display an increasing vitality and assertiveness, articulating an abstraction that is rooted in the physical realm but attempting a departure from it. Intense colour, subtle tone, shadows and painterly gesture are woven together in such a way that space comes in and out of focus, suspending one’s perception of them and emulating the clarity or lack thereof of dreams and memories.
b. 1954, Manchester, United Kingdom.
Paul Winstanley is a painter who uses the ostensibly traditional genres of Landscape / Interior / Still Life / Figure / to create works of conceptual rigour that present the relationship of the viewer to the painting as central to the content of the work. At once methodical and melancholic his painterly depictions of landscapes, walkways, veiled windows, TV Lounges, art school studios and individuals distracted in contemplation are rendered in an exacting and subtle palette. Training initially as an abstract and minimalist painter Winstanley reversed the usual trend of early 20th century artists by moving back towards a new, more self-aware representational work. His paintings however do retain much of the aesthetic qualities of the earlier abstraction in their pictorial organisation and minimalist feel. His paintings draw as much from historical northern European artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, Vermeer and Vilhelm Hammershoi as contemporary, more conceptual practitioners such as Richard Hamilton. The images Winstanley creates contain a sense of imposed order as well as an atmosphere of abandonment or expectation and of time inexorably passing.