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. Maguire’s most recent paintings directly confront issues of migration, displacement and human dignity in the face of the current global unrest. They are some of his most nuanced and ambitious to date, which he has crafted with larger brushes and thinned-down acrylic on canvas. He works slowly, using photographic sources, searching for that point where illustration ceases and art begins. This growing contrast between the seductive painterly aesthetic and the subject matter only adds to the potential impact of these formidable canvases.
In 2018, Kerlin Gallery and Fergus McCaffrey published the Brian Maguire monograph, an expansive publication which presents over 30 years of work and features texts by Donald Kuspitt, Thomas McEvilley, Gavin Delahunty, and Ed Vulliamy.
Brian Maguire lives and works in Dublin and Paris.