Stained Glass Sky is the triumphant return to the gallery wall of the enigmatic and talented Christopher Horder. In his first exhibition with Nanda\Hobbs Contemporary, the body of works sweeps in like the west wind—challenging us to see our world in the half-light of day into night. His investigation into the conscious versus the subconscious sits comfortably within a Surrealist lineage. Yet, it is a body of work that is profoundly contemporary and, frankly, refreshingly cool.
Horder’s painting is universal in its subjectiveness. He draws on the natural world with an energy and automatism that creates a distinctly unique and brooding oeuvre. Whilst the paintings speak of our world or indeed the heavens, they are not necessarily about a physical space or place. Rather, they are a netherworld that we inhabit as part of being human, with all its humanist traits of insecurity and obscured truths. This is a vision of tainted beauty and earthly delights.
To watch Horder paint is like watching a lone wolf stalk its prey. His powerful frame and intense, ever watchful gaze, identifies opportunities, swiftly followed with instinctive and primal gestural marks as he brings his epic canvases under control. His methodology is action-based, similar to that of American artist, Jackson Pollock. It is painted from above, looking down like a defining power over the landscape of paint. The viewer becomes the focal point, fully involved in his vision.
Horder is profoundly open to the experience of paint itself; its spontaneity and fluidity. Like the desire of the Alchemist to conjure gold, he is constantly searching and experimenting for the defining moment when the paint ‘blooms’ and all the pictorial elements come together in dynamic harmony. Technically and theoretically, he is heavily internalised. The works are undoubtedly honed with his experiences as an artist—working and exhibiting in Sydney and Berlin for many years.
At times, the tough years challenged and battered the man—yet these years have ultimately made him. Out of the darkness has come a profoundly important body of work to all who covet the new and the original.
Christopher Horder is a person for whom the cultural fabric of society owes a great debt. He is dedicated to his mission to fulfil the job or indeed the affliction of being an artist. History will ultimately and undoubtedly tell the favourable tale of how expansive and revolutionary his vision has been.