Then I laid the floor is an exhibition bringing together the work of Brian Maguire (Dublin), James Concagh (São Paulo) and Robert Chase Heishman (Chicago). In 2022 the three artists convened in Brazil to embark on a project called The House That Valdemar Built that centres on a deep engagement with the self-built family home of Concagh’s in-laws in the Jabaquara community on the outskirts of São Paulo. The aim of the artists’ meeting was to produce works that told the story of one specific family who have been discriminated against because of their migrant status of being from the Northeast of Brazil. The works in this exhibition speak to how the family have gracefully dealt with adversity, and found joy, dignity, pride, and self-respect. Each brick laid and floor added to the favela home of Valdemar and Valderci is a symbol of self-reliance out of necessity. It is this that Maguire, Concagh and Heishman’s respective artistic practices aim to accentuate, translate and express through a visual narrative of this family’s story that is emblematic of the spirit of their larger community.
The exhibition’s title Then I laid the floor comes from Heishman’s film where Valdemar speaks about the original foundation and construction of his favela house.
Extended until 31 October
Robert Chase Heishman
artist talk on culture night
Brian Maguire will be in conversation with Kylie Thomas in Triskel Gallery Space on Friday 22 September for Culture Night to talk about his work and this exhibition. No booking required and all are welcome. There are limited spaces so come early! Kylie is a Senior Lecturer at the Radical Humanities Laboratory and in Art History at University College Cork.
Robert Chase Heishman’s documentary, which forms part of the exhibition, will be screened in Triskel Christchurch for Culture Night at 5.30pm, 8.10pm and 8.30pm.
Brian Maguire was born in Bray (1951) and has worked as an artist since 1978. He first showed with the Kerlin Gallery in 1988 and over the 37 years since then he has presented over 8 one person shows, the latest in February this year The Clock Winds Down. In 2015 he began to show with the Fergus McCaffrey gallery presenting the solo show The Absence of Justice Demands This Act. In 2021 he joins Gallerie Christophe Gaillard showing An Atomy of Politics. That same year he began showing with the Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago showing both in 2022 with North and South of the Border and earlier in 2021 War Changes its Address and other Border Stories.
Christophe Gaillard’s web site speaks of Maguire’s figurative painting as bearing the struggles of those he sets out to meet in the United States ( Arizona Series) Mexixo (Nature Morte Series) or Syria (Aleppo Paintings) and recently in Brazil in the Amazon (rainforest series). Also initiating numerous interactive projects, his practice is inseparable from the connections he has woven over the years with the communities that he engages with. He is currently showing 16/06/23 to 23/09/23 in the Kunsthall 3-14 which looks at the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People in America and also at the migrants who lost their lives to natural causes in the desert while crossing from Nargoles ,in Mexico, to Tucson in the US.
The following selected Public Galleries and Museums have collected his work:
- The Crawford Art Gallery, Cork
- The Dublin City Gallery – The Hugh Lane, Dublin
- Gemantenmuseum, Den Haag, Netherlands
- IMMA, Dublin
- Jyvasklya Contemporary Art Museum, Finland
- Museo de D’Arte de Rio, Brazil
- Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, USA
- Wolverhampton Art Gallery, UK
Robert Chase Heishman is an American visual artist, director, filmmaker, and photographer based in Chicago. He has exhibited and screened his work nationally and internationally, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO), Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago, IL), The Peninsula (Chicago, IL), Roots and Culture (Chicago, IL), Chicago Manual Style (Chicago, IL), Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, OH), Goldmine (Pittsburgh, PA), Silver Eye Photography (Pittsburgh, PA), BWA Wrocław Główny Gallery (Wrocław, Poland), The Tetley (Leeds, UK), Sharjah Biennial 14 (Sharjah, UAE), Barbara Wien (Berlin, DE), and has had numerous collaborations, notably with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Radiohead, Sigur Rós, Megan Schvaneveldt, and Michael Rakowitz. Heishman earned his BFA in 2008 from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA in 2012 from Northwestern University.
James Concagh is an Irish visual artist based in São Paulo with an interest in developing textured compositions that are influenced by urban environments. He is particularly attracted to the function and purpose of architectural structures in the outskirts of São Paulo. His paintings have a characteristic of creating layers through building up the surface using materials such as cement and lime washes, pitch paint, raffia sacking, soluble inks and a variety of found cloth materials. He believes that painting is about creating a certain presence on the surface of the canvas which he constructs from parts of the physical reality of the subject matter itself.
He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, including the Andrea Rehder Gallery (São Paulo), Museum of Brazilian Sculpture (MuBE) (São Paulo), Brazilian British Centre (CCBB) (São Paulo), Conjunto da Caixa (Brasília, DF), Immigration Memorial Building (São Paulo), Dom Bosco station public mural project (São Paulo) Centro Cultural Rua Vergueiro (São Paulo), Upstairs Art Gallery, Grand Hyatt Hotel (São Paulo), Centro Cultural SESI Paulista (São Paulo) Centro Cultural de Divinópolis (Minas Gerais), Guinness Hop Store (Dublin), Chelsea, Bagley’s Lane Showing (London), Centro Cultural Mário Pedroso Public Cultural Space ( São Paulo subway and overground stations), O Museu de Imagem e Som (MIS) (São Paulo), National Portrait Gallery (Limerick), Group 688 – exhibitions in in Dublin, Wexford, Galway, Waterford, and Cork, Ilac Shopping Centre Exhibition with Martin Folan (Dublin).
Image: still from The House that Valdemar Built by Robert Chase Heishman
Works by Brian Maguire included in this exhibition are courtesy of The Kerlin Gallery, Dublin