Thirteen new paintings by Scottish artist Christopher Orr are on display at Hauser & Wirth
Zürich. The small intense canvases depict phantasmagoric landscapes populated by figures from an earlier time. Fiction and formalism go hand in hand in these works, dissolving the distinction between reality and illusion. Part figurative, part abstract, they continue Orrs on-going exploration of the language of painting.
With echoes of the Romantic landscapes of J.M.W. Turner and Caspar David Friedrich, Orrs new paintings are bold in their execution. Layers of translucent pigment build up solid figures, whilst elsewhere paint has been scraped off to reveal the canvas beneath. The new works feature strokes of bright pigment that criss-cross the paintings, suggesting a meaning that lies beyond the experience of the viewer. Combining often ordinary source material to produce extraordinary juxtapositions, Orr creates a painterly vision full of free agency that is entirely his own.
Christopher Orr was born in Helensburgh, Scotland in 1967. He studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, Scotland and at the Royal College of Art, London, England. His numerous group exhibitions include Tate Triennial, curated by Beatrix Ruf at Tate Britain, London (2006); 'Old School', Hauser & Wirth London (2007) and Christopher Orr & J. Parker Valentine & Rezi van Lankveld', The Front Room, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis MO (2009). Orr was recently the artist in residence at ArtSway from September to October 2009, culminating in a solo show of new paintings in 2010. His works can be seen in several public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles CA, and Museum of Modern Art, New York NY.