Chris Orr

born 1943

Chris Orr, ‘Farm’ 1975
Farm 1975
© Chris Orr
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In Tate Britain


Christopher Orr MBE RA (born 8 April 1943) is an English artist and printmaker who has exhibited worldwide and published over 400 limited edition prints in lithography, etching and silkscreen.

Orr was born in Islington, London. After studying at Ravensbourne and Hornsey Schools of Art, he graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1967 with an MA in printmaking. He was made a fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1985, a fellow of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers in 1988, elected Royal Academician in 1995 and appointed professor of printmaking at The Royal College of Art 1998. Combining his work as a full-time artist with teaching, he has also taught at Cardiff College of Art, Central St Martins, London, and at the Royal College of Art, London.

His work is best described in his own words "During my thirty nine years as an artist I have been put in various pigeon-holes, such as 'quintessential English' or a 'latter-day Hogarth'. But are these epithets reasonable? My pictures are composed of well-mixed metaphors, references, allusions jokes and descriptions. Does 'Chris Orr-like' refer to a typically English muddle? The tradition of graphic eccentricity (Heath Robinson, Donald McGill, Steve Bell et al.) is fair enough, I am happy to acknowledge many influences in this area."

Orr has had many one-man shows internationally, including Britain, France, America, Australia, Japan and China. He is represented by the Jill George Gallery, where he has been regularly exhibited since 1978.

He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.

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