The Irish artist Brian Maguire and the artist and professor Jeremy Welsh in a discussion about Maguire's exhibition ‘law of the land’; the two series of work ‘Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’ (M&MIP) and ‘The Remains, Arizona’.
How does Maguire work with marginalized groups presented in his paintings, and how can the artistic process challenge dominating narratives?
Artworks which witness the ongoing epidemic in the Americas in which indigenous peoples and immigrants struggle with high rates of assault, abduction and murder. In the artistic process, Maguire’s testimony transforms into blisteringly powerful paintings.
The artist talk at Kunsthall 3,14 focused on Maguire’s engagement in art that addresses social injustice. Social activism has been part of Maguire’s practice since the very beginning of his artistic career, stemming from his involvement in the civil rights movement of Northern Ireland in the 1970s.
The painting series Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (M&MIP) expresses indignation by calling out the violence against indigenous peoples and immigrants and the numerous human tragedies regularly unfolding in the American West. Native American families, communities and human rights advocates, including the artist, are getting together to demand that the State and Federal authorities quickly address and remedy the escalating crises. The artist has catalysed different individuals and groups, who did not before work together, to seek to drive positive human rights change vis-à-vis the ongoing M&MIP issue.
Brian Maguire has found the delicate and hard-to-find spot where illustration ceases and art begins. The painterly medium with its engaging matter draws us into urgent questions that we cannot ignore.
Brian Maguire was born in 1951 in County Wicklow, Ireland where he studied drawing and painting at the Dun Laoghaire School of Art, and fine art at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. His focus on marginalized or disenfranchised groups has led him to work at several prisons, hospitals and other institutions in Ireland, Poland, and the USA.
Maguire has exhibited extensively throughout Europe, America and Japan. He represented Ireland at the 1998 Sao Paulo Bienal and created the "Casa de Cultura" series based on people from that city's slums. Maguire has also enjoyed several successful solo exhibitions, including Lincoln Gallery, Dublin (1981); Triskel Gallery, Cork (1982); Irish Pavilion, Leeuwarden, Netherlands (1990); Kerlin Gallery, Dublin (2001); Fenton Gallery, Cork (2003). In 2000, The Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin hosted a major retrospective for Maguire, which travelled to the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork and the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston, Texas. Maguire also won the Irish-American Cultural Institute's O'Malley Art Award in 1990.
Maguire's paintings and other artworks are represented in collections including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Hugh Lane Municipal Art Gallery in Dublin, University College Dublin, Office of Public Works (OPW), Crawford Municipal Gallery Cork, the Alvar Aalto Museum in Finland, and the Gemeente museum in the Hague, Netherlands.
Jeremy Welsh is a visual artist educated at Trent Polytechnic School of Art & Design and Goldsmiths College. He was employed as an MA coordinator at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bergen and as a professor at Intermedia, the Academy of Fine Arts in Trondheim. He has been an active artist since 1977 and participated in many exhibitions and festivals internationally. Among others, his work has been purchased by The Museum of Contemporary Art, the Norwegian Cultural Council and the Trondheim Art Museum.