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    Brian Maguire - Over Our Heads the Hollow Seas Closed Up, 2016, acrylic on linen

    Brian Maguire – Over Our Heads the Hollow Seas Closed Up, 2016, acrylic on linenerline

    Over our heads the Hollow Seas Closed Up is the title of an exhibition  of new work by the celebrated Irish artist Brian Maguire at Kerlin Gallery in Dublin until August 20.  In these paintings Maguire directly confronts issues of human migration, displacement and dignity in the face of current global unrest.  Maguire has approached painting as an act of solidarity since early in his career in the 1970’s, working in shelters, prisons and psychiatric institutions to produce art that deeply challenges the viewer.  The title is taken from Primo Levi’s If This be a Man, which in turn is quoting from Dante’s Inferno.

    The paintings in this exhibition are some of Maguire’s 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.

    Maguire’s most recent solo exhibitions include The Void, Derry (2015–2016); and Fergus McCaffrey, New York (2015). Group exhibitions and biennales include the Irish Museum of Modern Art; WIELS, Brussels; VISUAL, Carlow; Dublin CityGallery The Hugh Lane; National Gallery of Contemporary Art, Korea; Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Japan; Dublin Contemporary (2011); the Beijing Biennale (2008) and the 24th S?o Paolo Bienal (1998).

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