Lest Darkness Falls, 2009, Oil on linen
23 x 19 cm / 9 x 7 1/2 in. Produced while on a residency at ArtSway, Arts University College at Bournemouth
Opening Friday 19 November, 6 – 8 pm
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 Orr’s on-going exploration of the language of painting.
With echoes of the Romantic landscapes of J.M.W. Turner and Caspar David Friedrich, Orr’s 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.