In these new paintings, Elizabeth Magill has developed a novel practice, combining painting, drawing, stencilling and large-scale printmaking to create sensual and engrossing landscapes rich in minute visual detail and expansive atmosphere and allusion.
Over her 30 year career, Magill has been celebrated for conjuring from memory, mysterious suburban roadsides, dark woodlands and evocative windswept coastlines. In these new paintings, such landscapes continue to take form but the visual and sensory experience is all the more intense.
While these paintings acknowledge environmental change, even catastrophe, there is an optimism, a light and a celebration forcing its way through. Magill's landscapes are both political and poetic. They form as the product of her acute attention to the detail and complexity of our surroundings and her unique. slanted and enchanted vision.
b. 1959, Canada
Since she began exhibiting in the late-1980s, Elizabeth Magill has developed a highly idiosyncratic approach to painting and printmaking. She is celebrated for her evocative landscapes, which capture atmospheric conditions with great sensitivity: the luminosity of daybreak, or the cool glow of moonlight. The scenes appear to be sited on the edge of urbanity – roofs, streetlamps or telephone wires can occasionally be sighted in the background, but human figures are rare. Instead, clusters of trees dominate Magill's compositional arrangements, and only through their branches can hedges, hills and radiant skies be glimpsed. At times, Magill's paintings are layered with visionary elements, and the artist suffuses her work with memory and experience of place, prioritising the expression of her inner reality over accurate representation. She often incorporates photographic materials and processes into her work, starting off with a photographic image on the canvas before applying and scraping away layers of paint until she achieves the desired mood. Born in Canada, Magill grew up in Northern Ireland and now lives and works in London.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Headland, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick, (2017); travelling to Ulster Museum, Belfast, (2018); Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2018) and New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK, (2019); Green Light Wanes, Towner Gallery & Museum, Eastbourne, UK, (2011); Recent Paintings, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, travelling to Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes; BALTIC, Gateshead; Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea, (all 2005) and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin (2003). Recent group exhibitions include: The Aerodrome – An exhibition dedicated to the memory of Michael Stanley, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK, (2019); Legacies: JMW Turner and Contemporary Art Practice, New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK, (2017); and High Treason: Roger Casement, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Ireland, (2016).
Magill's work is represented in many museum and public collections worldwide including those of TATE, London; Crawford Art Gallery, Cork; The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin; The Arts Council of England; The Arts Council of Northern Ireland; Ulster Museum, Belfast; The British Museum, London; Towner Art Gallery & Museum, Eastbourne; Worchester Museum and Art Gallery; Southampton City Art Gallery; The British Council and the National Gallery of Australia.
Press release courtesy Kerlin Gallery.