Untitled Document

Christopher Orr (showing at ArtSway, Sway) - ArtSway partnership

Date: 24 April - 20 June 2010 (showing at ArtSway, Sway)

Exhibition Type: Partnership

Christopher Orr is a painter, based in London, who was artist in residence at ArtSway in September and October of 2009. His paintings – usually very small in scale – are characterised by elements of Romantic art and the Sublime, and often feature intricately detailed figures within huge and ethereal landscapes.

The figures, objects and animals that crop up in Orr’s work are appropriated from an array of early to mid-twentieth century books and manuals – with the artist deliberately playing with the placement and sizes of the figures in his work. Orr’s recent body of work – exhibited at IBID Projects in London in the summer of 2009 – were paintings based on small black and white appropriated images, lacking in details that, as the artist comments, ‘…forced my own hand to be more apparent in the work’ and leading to a much looser, fractured style of painting.

For his most recent series of paintings, begun whilst in residence at ArtSway, Orr has included references to works by old masters, particularly French Rococo painters such as Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Jean-Antoine Watteau – whilst retaining elements of the more bombastic and romantic ideals of the German painter Caspar David Friedrich. Orr also saw his time at ArtSway as affording him the space – both mental and physical – to refresh his practice, to take himself out of his usual urban context, and to embark on a new body of work. This new work, which will be exhibited at ArtSway in April 2010, will be a mixture of old and new techniques and ideas.

Christopher Orr’s exhibition at ArtSway is accompanied by a book of new work, supported by the text+work programme at the Arts University College at Bournemouth.

For further information on the exhibition please contact ArtSway direct www.artsway.org.uk

Christopher Orr

Christopher Orr was born in Helensburg, Scotland in 1967. He studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee (1996–2000) and at the Royal College of Art, London (2001–2003).

His numerous solo exhibitions include Strong to Heal, IBID PROJECTS (Hoxton Square), London (2008); Nyehaus, NewYork, USA (2007), and Before and After Science,Arndt & Partner, Berlin, Germany (2004). Selected group exhibitions include: Where theWild

Things Are, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Scotland (2006); Don Quijote, Witte deWith, Rotterdam, Holland, (2006); IdealWorlds,Romanticism in contemporary art, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany, (2006); London in Zürich, curated by Gregor Muir at Hauser & Wirth, Zürich (2005); TateTriennial, curated by Beatrix Ruf at Tate Britain, London (2006); Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative, curated by Jens Hoffman at Thomas Dane Gallery, London (2007) and Old School, Hauser & Wirth, London (2007). Christopher Orr lives and works in London.


The accompaying publication is priced at £12.00. To purchase a copy please contact The Gallery Office on 01202 363272 or e-mail gallery@aucb.ac.uk. We ask for all cheques to be made payable to the Arts University College at Bournemouth on receipt of payment the publication will be dispatched. Please ensure that we have your full postal address.

Images in order of appearance:

CHRISTOPHER ORR: TIME IS THE DIAMOND Publication (Gathering Storm (detail), 2010)

Phantom Empire, 2010

After Forever, 2009

Lest Darkness Fall, 2009

Ghostly Monarch, 2010

All works courtesy the artist, IBID PROJECTS, London and Hauser & Wirth, Zurich. Photography by Prudence Cummings Associates Limited

(Download PDF for full essay / text)