Chris Orr RA - London and New York: Work and Play

Chris Orr RA - London and New York: Work and Play

work by chris orr

Chris Orr

Work, 2010

play by chris orr

Chris Orr

Play, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010Saturday, November 13, 2010


London, United Kingdom

Jill George Gallery is delighted to announce the latest exhibition by Chris Orr, who has been showing at the Gallery since its foundation. This exhibition is his first solo show in two years and will present a selection of new watercolours, drawings and prints, concentrating on London and New York.

Born in London, and having spent his life here, Orr has long made its architecture, history and geography central to his work. Previous drawings of the city have occasionally incorporated historical elements into the teeming modern metropolis, with medieval, Shakespearean and Victorian characters mingling together on Waterloo Bridge, reflecting the mixture of history and modernity that characterises the city. He has also drawn spectacular London landscapes, with much of the human interaction that characterised earlier work becoming therefore less visible, and the teeming, pulsating architecture of London revealed as a growing, organic mass.

His new series of London drawings focuses on the theme of ‘work’ and will feature the artist’s trademark fantasy mix of re-appropriated architecture as a composite backdrop to figures working in the metropolis. Inspired partly by Ford Maddox Brown’s famous nineteenth century painting, Orr’s workers toil in the continually evolving city before fantastical re-imagined tableaux of historical and modern buildings.

For the New York images in this show, Orr has produced some of his most colourful and vibrant architectural studies so far. His views of Times Square and Coney Island capture the hectic visual and aural stimulation of these famous urban locations. He also found inspiration on a recent trip to Hoboken where a newly renovated train terminal attracted a fascinating range of people. Besides the many commuters and travellers who passed through the building, newlyweds used it as a backdrop for their wedding photographs and homeless people claimed it as shelter. Just as the artist selects and uses London landmarks as a backdrop to his city narratives here, New Jersey residents selected the transport building as the setting for their own individual stories. His watercolours and prints record the sad, hilarious and sometimes absurd dramas acted out in the Hoboken train terminal.

Notes for Editors

• Born in London in 1943, Chris Orr studied at Ravensbourne College of Art (1959-63), Hornsey College of Art (1963-4) and the Royal College of Art (1964-7). He was elected Royal Academician in 1995 and Professor of Printmaking at the Royal College of Art from 1998-2008. Currently Professor Emeritus, he is one of this country’s leading printmakers who has mastered all aspects of printmaking, having an encyclopaedic technical and historical knowledge of the medium.
• His work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions over the last 30 years throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Japan; and in numerous international group exhibitions.
• Chris Orr’s work can be found in many public collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, British Museum, Royal Academy of Arts, Museum of London, Government Art Collection, Science Museum, British Council, Arts Council England, Welsh Arts Council, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, National Railway Museum and the National Gallery of Jamaica.
• The Private View for this exhibition will be at Jill George Gallery, Lexington Street, Soho on Monday 11 October 2010 from 6-8.30pm.
• The artist will give a free gallery talk on Thursday 21 October at 7pm.
• Jill George Gallery began by exhibiting the work of recent graduates and new artists and now shows selected painting and sculpture from a roster of international artists.

If you require any further information or images please contact Jill George Gallery on 020 7439 7319 or email press@jillgeorgegallery.co.uk

Jill George Gallery is open weekdays 10am – 6pm, Saturdays 11am – 5pm, Thursdays until 8pm.
www.jillgeorgegallery.co.uk