Conor McGrady

Burren College of Art Time, Space & Inspiration

Conor McGrady

Dean of Academic Affairs | Head of Painting & Drawing


Conor McGrady is an artist from N. Ireland whose work examines the relationship between ideology, individual and collective psychology, and the politics of spatial control. Primarily executed in black and white, his often large-scale paintings and drawings explore various manifestations of social order and raise questions relating to the control of space, personal and national boundaries.

Conor received a BA Hons in Fine Art from the University of Northumbria (UK) and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (USA). He has recently held solo exhibitions in New York, Miami, Atlanta and Zagreb/Croatia. Group exhibitions include the 2002 Whitney Biennial in New York, and “Archiving Place and Time: Contemporary Art Practice in Northern Ireland since the Belfast Agreement”, which traveled to multiple venues in the UK and Ireland. He is editor of Curated Spaces, a regular feature in the journal Radical History Review and has published numerous articles in The Brooklyn Rail. His writing also appears in the books Ruminations on Violence (Waveland Press, 2007) and State of Emergence (Plottner Verlag, 2011).

Research Interests

Painting; aesthetics and politics; art and conflict; socially engaged practice; over-identification; tactical intervention; architecture & spatial control; artists collectives.

Teaching Philosophy

As a committed, progressive educator, my teaching approach is inherently student centered. I encourage students to be active learners in developing a practice that allows for risk taking, problem solving, associative thinking, discovery, intuition and invention. Through intensive engagement with their chosen subject matter and the theoretical fields that surround it, students are encouraged to become self-directed critical thinkers who are capable of pursuing their own inquiries, and tackling personal, social and philosophical issues in their work.