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Conor McGuires luminous, exquisitely textured paintings pull viewers into virtually timeless visions of his native Western Ireland. Hoping to convey the regions isolation and relatively unchanged picturesqueness, his portraits and landscapes privilege small towns, local characters, pristine nature and traditional music. In these settings, occasional modern details, wristwatches, camera-toting tourists, electronic keyboards, complicate the illusion of isolation. McGuires aesthetic choices reflect this tension between regional vernacular and modern sensibilities, moving between a gentle, impressionist landscape style reminiscent of Monet and an expressionist mode in portraits where the canvas edges blur into abstraction.
A rhythmic quality plays throughout these stylistic variations, uniting McGuires paintings. This rhythm figures very literally in portraits of musicians, where musical tones seem to ripple over surrounding spaces and architectures. In paintings of streets, towns, fields and seascapes, meanwhile, a less overt but no less powerful cadence develops from repeating shapes, shifting forms and alternating colors. McGuires paintings, then, invite viewers to experience lives and landscapes at a different rhythm.