ACCLAIMED painter and printmaker Chris Orr is curating this year’s Rugby Collection exhibition at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum.
The artist, a former professor of printmaking at London’s Royal College of Art, has selected over 40 pieces from the borough’s collection of contemporary art to feature in the exhibition, which opened on Saturday (February 10).
Orr also brings a collection of his own distinctive work – Domestic Fantastic: Prints and Paintings – to the Little Elborow Street venue to run in tandem with the Collection exhibition.
Domestic Fantastic features Orr’s trademark, densely-detailed prints, each one a humorous, satirical and often seething social commentary on our everyday lives.
Orr has exhibited all over the world and his work features in a number of public art collections, including the Arts Council of England, Tate Britain, the Victorian and Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.
He said he was ‘honoured’ to be invited to curate this year’s Rugby Collection exhibition, and explained the thinking behind his selections.
He said: “I approached the job of selecting a show using the magpie part of my brain.
“First, I chose many works by old friends encountered in a career of teaching at art schools and through the Royal Academy. This was a bit like organising a fantasy dinner party with your favourite guests.
“Then there are those works that surprise and intrigue me. I love finding art that has perhaps languished in the vaults unseen for a while.”
Orr’s selection includes works by ‘old friends’ Carel Weight, John Bellany, Terry Setch and Leon Kossoff, together with what he describes as ‘truly breath-taking works’ by Barbara Hepworth, Paula Rego and John Hoyland.
The Rugby Collection was established by the council in 1946 and includes works by LS Lowry, Stanley Spencer and Turner Prize winners Lubaina Himid and Gillian Wearing.
Both the Rugby Collection exhibition and Orr’s Domestic Fantastic run at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum until June 8.
Rugby Borough Council’s leisure and wellbeing spokesman Coun Adam Daly said: “It’s a real coup to welcome Chris Orr to Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, both to curate this year’s Rugby Collection exhibition and showcase his own work.
“With the exhibition of Quentin Blake book covers, visitors can admire the instantly recognisable work of two of Britain’s most distinctive artists.”
Visit www.ragm.co.uk for more information.