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b. 1967, United Kingdom

Christopher Orr Biography

Brought up in Helensburgh, a historically significant seaside town on the Argyll and Bute coastline of western Scotland, Orr has an implicit understanding of the innate contradictions between 19th and 20th century cultural realms that has influenced his painting until now. As a prosperous location to a wealthy class that could escape the increasing discomforts of industrialisation in nearby Glasgow, the town's rich history of 19th century painting and architecture includes Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House and the portrait of Lady Helen of X, the woman after which the town is named.

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These tendencies are summed up by Artforum's Michael Wilson: 'Christopher Orr's dark, diminutive oil paintings seem at first glance to have been salvaged from some alternate past. Employing an earthy palette of browns, reds and ochres, and building surfaces on which areas of dry, scraped-back pigment are juxtaposed with richer, fresher looking passages, the Scottish artist conjures a dramatic lost world in which characters, scenes, and objects culled from popular mid-century print media seem to have strayed into the sublime landscape visions of a nineteenth Century Romantic'. (2008). Caoimhin Mac Giolla Leith, a respected scholar of Celtic and Folklore at Trinity College, Dublin, noted perceptively in the same year that Orr's work operates in a grand tradition from one 'oft-quoted' name (Caspar David Friedrich) to the next (J.M.W. Turner), but it is in the haunting vein of his thrift-store oddity that permeates work that is arguably the more memorable and affecting quality. A determined urge to channel his immensely skilled romantic figuration is the brooding prism by which Orr depicts our current inconsistencies.

Christopher Orr was born in Helensburgh, Scotland in 1967. He studied Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee (2000) and received an MA from the Royal College of Art, London in 2003. He now lives and works in London. His work came to the wide attention of international curators with exhibitions at Hauser & Wirth in Zürich and the Third Tate Triennial London. He took part in institutional exhibitions at The Royal Scottish Academy Edinburgh, the Royal Academy London, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Witte de With Rotterdam and Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Recent solo institutional shows were held at Kunsthaus Baselland Basel, the 54th Venice Biennale, CAPC Musée d'Art Contemporain Bordeaux and Kunsthalle Brandts in Odense. He was represented by Hauser & Wirth and Ibid.

Text courtesy HdM GALLERY.

Christopher Orr Featured Artworks

View All (21)
A Song for Lost Blossoms by Christopher Orr contemporary artwork
Christopher OrrA Song for Lost Blossoms, 2019Oil on linen
35 x 30 x 4 cm
A touch of earthly years by Christopher Orr contemporary artwork
Christopher OrrA touch of earthly years, 2019Oil on wooden panel
30 x 20 cm
Beneath the grey calm of the cloud by Christopher Orr contemporary artwork
Christopher OrrBeneath the grey calm of the cloud, 2019Oil on canvas
51 x 45.5 cm
By All Things Near and Far by Christopher Orr contemporary artwork
Christopher OrrBy All Things Near and Far, 2020Oil on wooden panel
25.5 x 20.5 cm
Half Glimpsed by Christopher Orr contemporary artwork
Christopher OrrHalf Glimpsed, 2019Oil on wooden panel
25.4 x 20.3 cm
In Hidden Places by Christopher Orr contemporary artwork
Christopher OrrIn Hidden Places, 2020Oil on wooden panel
40.5 x 30.5 cm
Of Plants and Shadows by Christopher Orr contemporary artwork
Christopher OrrOf Plants and Shadows, 2020Oil on wooden panel
25.5 x 20.5 cm
The Road to Stac Pollaidh by Christopher Orr contemporary artwork
Christopher OrrThe Road to Stac Pollaidh, 2019Oil on wooden panel
30.5 x 22.5 x 4 cm

Christopher Orr Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Christopher Orr, Christopher Orr at HdM GALLERY, Beijing
18 July–21 August 2020 Christopher Orr HdM GALLERYBeijing
Contemporary art exhibition, Xie Lei, Christopher Orr, Xie Lei / Christopher Orr at HdM GALLERY, London
31 October 2019–16 January 2020 Xie Lei, Christopher Orr Xie Lei / Christopher Orr HdM GALLERYLondon

Christopher Orr Represented By

HdM GALLERY contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom HdM GALLERY Beijing, Hangzhou, London

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