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Christopher Orr
Ibid Gallery, Los Angeles, California
Recommendation by Kristen Osborne-Bartucca


Christopher Orr, “Anthems in Eden,” 2017, oil on canvas, 50 x 44 1/8”

Continuing through July 8, 2017

It’s certainly not necessary to have a background in art history to find Christopher Orr’s paintings compelling. His watercolors and oil paintings have a hazy, ethereal glow. Perspective is off-kilter, and the subject matter — a delicate bird standing taller than two mountains, a businessman crouching in a bush, or an oval mirror hanging from a tree with the reflection of a woman in mourning — is surreal and beguiling. Thomas Eakins and Lucien Freud are recognizable in the sinuously muscled men, their mottled flesh red and sickly green. "Stumblings Across a Numinous Landscape" and "Anthems in Eden" conjure Rubens and Rembrandt in their scumbled skies of fading but luminous shades of gold, pink and turquoise. 

 

Two men in humble agrarian clothes examining a plant alludes to Courbet, while a woman reclining amid a wild landscape evokes the nudes of Titian and Giorgione. Orr’s work, however, is not merely derivative due to the sheer creative weirdness of the compositions. Each is fantastical, improbable, unsettling. It is impossible to say quite what is going on. Orr brings the old masters back to life, but hints that doing so may not be quite what we expected.

Ibid. Los Angeles

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