Approaching landscape as a departure point into the sublime and surreal, Ward envisions an uncanny enhancement of nature that’s fantastic, foreboding and infinitely, unequivocally entrancing.
Featured in the gallery on Parkstrasse, Christian Ward’s exhibition of new paintings is inspired by early Renaissance and Chinese Song dynasty painting, bridging both empyreal mysticism and ultra-kitsch carnality in their dream-like compositions. Central to the show is a monumental canvas titled Valley Pass: a sprawling aerial view of a utopian village, based on the lore of the Aum Shinrikyo cult which was responsible for the 1995 gas attack on the Tokyo underground.
Executed with Ward’s trademark day-glo hues and sumptuous finish, the painting resounds with an aberrant purity, promising intoxicating tranquillity it its wholly unnatural perfection. Through Ward’s aesthetic of heightened artificiality, his subject of landscape is pushed beyond formulaic representation; the lustre of his surfaces and spatial negation delineate a virtual plane of cerebral desire, where magic, ritual and forbidden temptation coalesce in a luxuriously futuristic primitivism.