Brendan McGorry has been exhibiting since his first critically acclaimed Auckland show in 1988 and has work in significant national collections, including Te Papa, Auckland City Council, and the Wallace Arts Trust which has 21 works covering over 30 years.
Primarily self-taught Brendan attributes the direction of his current work to his time in Italy studying frescos and drawing with the New York Studio School in 2006.
His work engages with references and allegories drawn from historical paintings, creating contemporary reinterpretations that tell his own story.
“McGorry is an artist in love with the medium’s entire life cycle, positioning it as a history that repeats itself endlessly in variations appropriate to the here and now. McGorry’s use of extant images here is more continuation than critique, an acknowledgment of the persistence of memory as well as the transience of life.
‘I see my work as being based on three intersecting threads of history,’ he confirms with admirable concision, ‘personal history and genealogy, social and biological evolution, and art history’. It’s this breadth of range-and crucially, the awareness that outwardly diverse subjects are always already interconnected which makes the artist's work so rich.”
Michael Wilson, Arts Editor for Vice International, writing for Art NZ Winter 2018