Born Ireland, 1971, lives and works in Wicklow
Brendan Earley creates polemically sensitive sculptures and drawings. His artworks orbit around the philosophical ‘dialectic of hope’, wherein the drive of Utopian optimism is tempered by an impending sense of inevitable failure and thus potentially swallowed by the undertow of ensuing anxiety. Since studying under the influential sculptor, Robert Morris, in New York at the end of the 20th Century, Brendan Earley’s studio practice has inventively explored new ways to address dominant western paradigms and high Modernist solutions within contemporary practice. Earley is an artist who professes “not to understand the world” and to be “worried about its future”. In reality, such self-effacement sets him aside as a rare individual who cares enough about global complexities to attempt ongoing, small redemptive acts of fixing to the overwhelming whole. Earley describes his practice as akin to the scientific thinking inherent in Modernism, one which links technological progress to a timeless future in which rationality and abstraction remain untouched by reality.
After graduating from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Earley spent a number of years travelling before receiving the Fulbright scholarship to attend Hunter College, New York City, and was awarded his PhD from NCAD in 2010. Selected exhibitions include I Went to the Woods: The Artist as Wanderer, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork; In The Midnight City, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing (solo); A Place Between, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (solo); Prix Ars Electronica, Austria; Towards a Large White Building, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (solo); and Artist Space’s, New York. Earley’s awards include artist-in-residence at Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing; Curated Visual Arts Award, Douglas Hyde Gallery; Banff Residency Scholarship; and Firestation Artists’ Studios, Dublin. Recent exhibitions include Life after Buildings at mother’s tankstation and back of beyond at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (both 2017), and Present Perfect, as part of One Here Now, The Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland Project, at Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh (2018).