Australian emerging artist, Christopher Horder’s second solo exhibition of new work, Berlin Zeit will be on show at Sydney’s Liverpool Street Gallery from 26 February – 24 March, 2011 and will open on Wednesday 2 March, 6pm. This exhibition is part of Art Month Sydney 2011.
Christopher Horder’s paintings are an exploration of form, colour and process, fusing the Ancient Chinese ink techniques of the T’ang Dynasty to the action paintings of Abstract Expressionism and post-Abstract Expressionism. Paying homage to artists such as Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, James Gleeson, Dale Frank, Tiepolo and the Chinese artist, Mr Ku from the T’ang Dynasty, Horder’s canvases explore notions of the metaphysical aspects of paint coupled with the spontaneous and the unpremeditated characteristics of chance imagery.
In early 2010, Horder relocated his studio to Berlin and later featured in A Perfect Day to Chase Tornadoes (White) at the Kunstquartier Bethanien – a group exhibition showcasing the work of Australian artists living in Berlin, curated by SuperKaleidoscope, an art initiative founded by Australian artists, Kim Fasher and Sarah Mosca, with the objective to represent young contemporary artists by facilitating temporary exhibitions and special projects in both Australia and abroad.
Berlin Zeit features a series of large-scale, challenging and dynamic paintings in response to his time living in Berlin. Paintings such as Orbs (2010) and Long December (2010) reveal Horder’s response to the cityscape of Berlin during the winter months. The soft palette of icy blues, luminous purples and warm creamy browns evoke the snow-lined streets in the daytime or evening. Glimpses of forms reveal themselves then disappear, much like fleeting light shimmering across the surface of snow. The paintings are evocative of memory, of personal experiences, of dreams and journeys.
Working directly on the floor and on a large scale, Horder applies Indian inks and acrylics onto sheets of canvas that have been soaked thoroughly, working wet on wet, allowing the mediums to bleed and particulate through the surface. Each canvas is a unique creation that can never be replicated as it is unpredictable in its formation. Horder states “with the combination of artist, painting, man, nature, conscious, unconscious and the metaphysical aspects of paint, the possibilities are endless.”
The notion of continual imagery in Horder’s paintings can be interpreted using the ‘Gestalt Theory’, which refers to the shape-forming capability of our senses with respect to the visual recognition of figures and whole forms instead of a collection of simple lines and curves. In this instance, Horder’s ink-stained canvases are a manifestation of our subconscious, allowing multiple interpretations of ambiguous imagery.
The paintings are an exploration into a process. They are paintings inspired by nature and other paintings spanning from ancient Chinese painters to the action paintings of Abstract Expressionism and post-Abstract Expressionism. They explore ideas of the alchemy of the subconscious and the metaphysical aspects of paint itself; the idea of chance imagery and the interaction of the viewer’s own interpretation of the visual world. They offer a keyhole into a world that cannot be premeditated, where the elements have a voice of their own, where the paint is not merely a tool of exploration but becomes the driving force for something new and unexpected. – Christopher Horder, 2009
born Sydney 1976
2005-2008 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours), National Art School, Sydney
2002-2005 Painting and Drawing Teacher, Mosman Evening College, Sydney
1993-1996 Diploma in Fine Arts, Hornsby TAFE, Sydney
1996 Painting Prize, Hornsby TAFE, Sydney
Horder currently lives and works in Berlin.
2011 Berlin Zeit, Liverpool Street Gallery , Sydney
2009 The Random Walk, Liverpool Street Gallery , Sydney
2004 City Living Gallery, Sydney
2001-2003 Open Studio Show, Lennox Street Studios
1998-99 Fitzroy Galleries, Fitzroy, Melbourne
2010 A Perfect Day to Chase Tornadoes (White), Berlin, curated by SuperKaleidoscope, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin Finalist,
Royal Bank of Scotland Emerging Artist Award Exhibition, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sydney
The King’s School Art Prize, King’s School, Sydney
2009 Finalist, Royal Bank of Scotland Emerging Artist Award Exhibition, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sydney
Drawcard 2009, National Art School, Sydney
Summer Exhibition, Liverpool Street Gallery , Sydney
2008 Drawcard 2008, National Art School, Sydney
VII Honours Group Show, Stairwell Gallery, National Art School, Sydney
2007 Christmas Group Show, Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney
2006 10 x 4, Stairwell Gallery, National Art School, Sydney
2005 Post Card Show, Australian Stock Exchange, Sydney
2002 Dobell Prize for Drawing, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Mosman Art Show, Sydney
Willoughby Art Show, Sydney
2000 Brett Whiteley Travelling Arts Scholarship Finalist
The Random Walk / 13 June – 9 July 2009
Every real secret, he thought, all the true-born pictures of the mind, were like this one small secret of water. They had no form, no clear, accomplished shape, would never let themselves be perceived… they were veiled and had many meanings… Of this same flimsy, magic stuff our dreams were woven in the night – nothing, with all the pictures of the world in it; a water in whose crystal the forms of all things, of angels, devils, men and beasts, lived as eternal possibility. – Hermann Hesse, Narziss and Goldmund, Penguin Books, 1971, 176-77.
Horder enters the abyss of a blank canvas like plunging into cold water or falling through air. These paintings are like his tangible wake through curing stains. He invites us into a sporadic, morphing universe, a conundrum of endless possibilities. Horder is toying with our very own instinctual desire to seek what is perceptibly real in what are his curious and provocative abstractions. I am compelled to look into the fluidity of these works and find my own angels, devils, men and beasts, and that is how nature treats us. – Steven Harvey, 2009
Being Born Again Couture was an exciting new project highlighting ten talented Australian artists and ten leading Australian fashion designers, celebrating 2010.
The print is unique and exclusive to Michael Lo Sordo. Working closely with Australian artist Christopher Horder to develop his prints (a process of placing inks and paints on canvas and submerging them into solutions so that the colours melt into fluid, cloudlike formations), Michael has created a beautiful collection filled with colour, texture and exquisite drapery