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.
Since the very beginning of his career in the 1970s 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.
This exhibition is presented as part of an on-going initiative, New Art at IMMA, proudly supported by Matheson, which allows IMMA to continue to support artists’ vital work in a strand of programming that recognises and nurtures new and emerging talents, new thinking and new forms of exhibition-making.