The Missoula Art Museum in Missoula, Montana, presents Brian Maguire: In the Light of Conscience, the artist’s first exhibition in a US museum. Maguire, an internationally renowned artist represented by galleries in New York City, Chicago, Dublin, and Paris, has worked closely with museum staff to put together this survey exhibition.
Through painting, Maguire hopes to draw attention to marginalized voices and human rights atrocities on large canvases. “The goal of my work is public outrage,” he said. Over the course of his career, he has spent time in Aleppo, Syria; Bentiu, South Sudan; São Paulo, Brazil; Juárez, Mexico; Tucson, Arizona; and other locations. He visits and listens with families of displaced or missing peoples and works with professionals on the frontlines of these migratory and geopolitical issues, aiming to harness a journalist’s attention to detail and humanity with his artistic talent during his travels.
This exhibition unites several recent bodies of work. Maguire’s techniques are striking, with the intention of evoking intense, almost visceral, responses in the viewer. Bombed-out buildings depicted in dripping paint characterize his Aleppo series from 2017. Additional paintings in the show reference immigration and refugee crises, border crossings, and drug wars in Mexico. Maguire tackles these profound issues with strokes of vibrant color. “Brian’s power as an artist is his ability to illuminate stories that otherwise go untold,” said curator Brandon Reintjes.
The exhibition includes loans from the Tia Collection in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Fergus McCaffrey Gallery in New York, New York; Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, Illinois; Kerlin Gallery in Dublin, Ireland; and collectors Christian Groenke and Gulia Bruckmann. Exhibition support comes from Culture Ireland, Fergus McCaffrey Gallery, and the Williams family of Missoula.
Brian Maguire: In the Light of Conscience is on view at the Missoula Art Museum through August 13, 2022.