Liminal Gallery and The AOP Gallery are delighted to present‘Nocturnes’a co-curated solo exhibition by painter Andrew Torr.
Torr has developed a signature neo-classicist approach to his work, as seen through the collection of landscape paintings selected for ‘Nocturnes’.Each painting has a thin bright line that runs along the horizon and below the trees. Thishorizonline contains a hive of city life, car lights, brightly lit houses and is placed within a setting that owes more to the rural abundance of the old masters than an urban location in London’s Zone 2.
This series of urban landscapes began in 2015, composed from a distant and contemplative perspective across the parks and city. The setting is archetypally modern while the application of the medium and the format itself is reassuringly traditional. Torr takes a delicate approach to the application of oil paint, starkly contrasting the hard lines of the concrete cityscape that informs his subject matter. These paintings act as love letters to the city in which the artist has spent his life, seen from a new angle which reimagines the possibilities of the landscapes, inviting the viewer to form their own narratives too.
Born in Yorkshire in 1965, Andrew Torrmoved to London in 1983 to study painting under Bernard Cohen at Wimbledon School of Art. He has lived and worked in the capital since completing his degree in 1987 initially from a studio in the East End and latterly in Wandsworth. Much of his work has been an attempt to render and explore the city, especially the open spaces of the parks and commons at night or the bridges crossing the Thames. The city at night has been a particularly rich inspiration and recurrent motif for Torr; the muted, unreal light that is reflected off the clouds above the commons–yellows, reds, eerie whites–the strange melancholy of those spaces and their unnatural underwater quality have provided a great formal exercise in using paint for Torr. How do you re-present that vastness on a flat canvas? The Thames paintings complement the nocturnes, typically by pushing the horizon high up the canvas. In this way, the water becomes the star rather than the sky.In 1992, Torr took a forced sabbatical after suffering a serious accident which severed all the tendons and nerves of his right hand. This may well have finished his career but surgeons were able to reattach the connective tissue and, through therapy and determination, he regainedenough dexterity to return to painting. Part of this therapywas to learn how to use a computer mouse with his left hand which led to a secondcareer as a graphic artist. He became Creative Director at The London Marathon in1998 and worked there for 20 years.
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