A new exhibition in the Tennant Gallery at the Royal Academy
explores the method and madness featured in the lithographs of Chris Orr RA. Orr is one of Britains foremost artist-printmakers, renowned for his technical mastery, joyfully anarchic subject matter and thought provoking content. The medium of lithography is a process that depends on the chemical antipathy of grease and water to create a printed image and this exhibition will contain more than twenty prints, ranging in date from 1974 to 2011. All prints in the exhibition have been generously presented to the Royal Academy Collection by the artist.
Highlights will include the early boisterous pub scene Inside Moonies (1974), the Semi-antic series of lithographs inspired by childrens books (2001), panoramic cityscapes Shanghai Seebackoscope (2006) and Nagasaki Mon Amour (2007), and the film-inspired Companions in the Canyon and Film Noir in Colour (both 2010). New and previously un-exhibited works on view will include Full Steam Ahead and Welcome to the Atomic Age (both 2011). Besides presenting Chris Orrs distinctive take on the absurdities of everyday life and human nature, the exhibition also asks serious questions: can a medium itself develop creativity? Can a process be a moment of theatre as well as a vehicle for expression?
Also on view will be a film made in 2011, especially for this exhibition, showing Chris Orr at work on a new lithograph and talking about his art. The film offers fascinating insights into the process of lithography and the work of this unique artist.
Chris Orrs work will also be showing at The London Original Print Fair, 20 22 April 2012.
Chris Orr was born in London in 1943. He studied at Ravensbourne College of Art (1959-63), Hornsey College of Art (1963-64) and the Royal College of Art (1964-67). He has taught at Cardiff College of Art, Central St Martins, London, and at the Royal College of Art, London, where he was Professor of Printmaking from 1998 to 2008. He has had many solo shows in the UK and internationally and his work is held in public collections including the Arts Council, British Museum, Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Orr was elected a Royal Academician in 1995 and awarded an MBE in 2008. He lives and works in London.