Since 2010, the Irish painter Brian Maguire has worked in Juárez, Mexico, creating work in response to the proliferation of deaths that have followed in wake of the Mexican drug war. Maguire’s affinity for social activism stems from his involvement in the civil rights movement of Northern Ireland in the 70s. His large scale paintings—which utilize wide, open brushstrokes and combine rough, dry marks with vertical and horizontal drips—aim to deny any poetic sensibility to the harsh scenes (dismembered body parts and weaponry) they often depict.
Through observation, Maguire draws attention to marginalized voices. In the case of Blood Rising, his documentary co-produced with Mark McLoughlin, the artist seeks to shed light on the staggering number of women murdered in Juárez (a practice known as known as feminocidio) through portraiture. As Ed Vulliamy of the The Guardian remarks in relation to his work, Maguire correlates the place between narrator and voyeur through occupying a role as facilitator which he is uniquely careful not to exploit.
Artsy Editorial by Anna Louie SussmanSeeing the retrospective in Paris convinced McCaffrey, the longtime collector and gallerist, that he needed to bring her (Carol Rama) work to the U.S. market. He mounted a show of nearly 50 works from between 1938 and 1945 in September 2016. “Unless you have recognition in the U.S., you don’t really have a market,” he says. “We showed Ramas this time last year in Basel and Americans had no awareness.” This year, his booth at Art Basel in Basel placed Rama alongside the Gutai artist Kazuo Shiraga, as both artists’ work addressed life under totalitarianism by seeking to liberate the body and its functions. Read More
The Art Newspaper by Matthew WilcoxCrucial in Gutai’s sudden boom, in McCaffrey’s view, was the fact that the group had essentially been ignored in the US since the 1950s. “Look at the market for Italian post-war work, or back to the late 1980s, when the German Neo-Expressionists started to make an impact in the US. There are these discrepancies in information and knowledge that pop up.” Read More