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Michael Dempsey, Head of Exhibitions, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, explores the theme of war and the language of painting in response to Maguire’s visceral painting series, War Changes Its Address: The Aleppo Paintings. In the image saturated world of the internet, this talk considers the subjective effects of painting on the viewer, to connect with human consequences of war and conflict.

This talk takes the form of a gallery walk through, places are limited.

About the Speaker

Michael Dempsey, is a curator and works as Head of Exhibitions at Dublin City Art Gallery The Hugh Lane. He has had more than twenty years’ experience in organizing and developing exhibitions and programmes in Ireland and Europe. These exhibitions include Hugh Lane 100 Years (2008); Julian Opie (2008), Other Mens Flowers (2008); The Quick and the Dead (2009); Yinka Shonibare, MBE (2009); Francis Bacon Centenary Exhibition: A Terrible Beauty (2009); Sir John Lavery: Passion and Politics (2010); Triumphs, Richard Tuttle (2010), Disturbance: Willie Doherty (2011),The Golden Bough (2009 – 2011) and Sleepwalkers (2012 – 2014) series of exhibitions, Doric Sean Scully (2012), Arts Council collection (2012), Richard Hamilton (2011), Eva Rothschild (2014),Perspectives of Europe: Stephen McKenna (2015), Jesse Jones (2016), Liam Gillick (2016) Sven Augustijnen (2016) Michael Kane (2016), Eugeen Van Mieghem: Port Life (2017),Ocean After Nature with Alaina Clare Feldman ICI (2017), and Eithne Jordan (2017).

About the Exhibition

This new exhibition brings together Brian Maguire’s latest body of work, resulting from a visit to Syria in 2017. It is shown in the context of earlier work made in response to the refugee crises hitting Europe’s shores as a result of the Syrian conflict. The Aleppo Paintings document the ruined buildings of the city, offering a visceral and stark insight into the physical consequences of war and the international arms trade that fuels all conflict. As with all his work, Maguire’s work is informed by first-hand experience of the city of Aleppo and its people and is fuelled by a desire to see beyond the news coverage to gain a personal insight into the reality of the situation. Maguire’s paintings bear stark testament to the human suffering implicit in his depiction of the building fragments left after the bombardment, underlining the need for justice.

Brian Maguire’s work emerges from social and political situations and a deep engagement with a particular place or group of people. He approaches painting as a gesture of solidarity and has undertaken projects in prisons, women’s shelters and psychiatric institutions.