Christopher Orr, Some Time of This Day, 2007
There lies a marked contrast between the intimacy of Christopher Orr’s compact oil paintings and the vastness of the scenes they depict: deep oceans, expansive skies, and formidable forests. Executed in broad-yet-precise brushstrokes, Orr’s works evoke the sublime worlds of J.M.W. Turner and Casper David Friedrich. Moreover, the diminutive figures, based on magazine shoots from the 1950s and ’60s who populate these sweeping landscapes, seem out of place, as do the oversized shrubbery or animals that often appear. Through Orr’s earthy palette and technique of juxtaposing areas of dry, scraped-back pigment “with richer, fresher looking passages conjures a dramatic lost world,” as described by critic Michael Wilson, his romantic renderings are decidedly “post-modern” in their approach of deconstructing and merging various art historical styles into surrealistic compositions.