To call Maguire a ‘war artist’ is to simplify, but there is this: to say what he wants to say, Maguire has to be there, to bear witness.”
—Ed Vulliamy, From His Own Eyes: A Message of War and Struggle
Fergus McCaffrey is pleased to announce War Changes Its Address, a solo exhibition of paintings by Irish artist Brian Maguire at the United Nations, February 10–22, 2020. By special invitation of Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, the Permanent Representative of Ireland, the exhibition features five paintings realized from the artist’s travels through the war-torn city of Aleppo, Syria in 2017.
Since the onset of his professional career four decades ago, Maguire has been an instigator of numerous interactive projects with prisoners, refugees, and survivors—his work emerges from observed social and political situations and a profound connection to specific places and communities. The artist embarked on his Aleppo Paintings series in 2016, working first from news photos then making a trip to Syria the following year to see the destruction first-hand. The ensuing result Aleppo 1- 5, completed in 2018, featured in the upcoming exhibition, offer a visceral and stark look into the consequences of war.
An artist of singular yet expansive vision, Brian Maguire is an activist, a correspondent, and a voice for dispossessed and marginalized individuals often considered dispensable by the rest of society. For this artist, painting is an act of solidarity with the forgotten and voiceless, informed by first-hand experience. Fueled by the need for practical insight into the reality of fraught situations—international conflicts and humanitarian crises—Maguire’s practice is inseparable from his commitment to the community with whom he feels in service.
War Changes Its Address will be on-view by appointment in the Delegates Entrance at the United Nations in New York. Appointments must be made 72 hours in advance; a valid government-issued ID is required upon entrance.
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