In the year 2000 Kate Boxer and Chris Orr both showed work in The Seriously Funny Show at North House Gallery. Twenty three years later their wit is undimmed and their means of expression completely assured. Although both are also painters, the focus here is on a dozen or so recent prints from each.
Kate's affectionate portraits of characterful animals or of eclectically selected historic personages are first outlined in drypoint and enriched in tone and colour with carborundum, gouache and Chine-collé. Titles are mysterious, even cryptic: a massive beached walrus is entitled Mendelssohn is driving me mad; and a black eagle Ô Reine Überschreigung. Several of the human portraits are Spaniards: Pasionaria, Lorca, Lola Flores and the Infanta. The depiction of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza is truly comic. Oscar Wilde and Fergus Henderson are cool, Sylvia Plath and Cézanne are serious and the long distance cyclist and travel writer Dervla Murphy sits with a glass of Guinness.
While Kate Boxer's works make an immediate impact, Chris Orr's lithographs and engravings need to be 'read' in all their minute, hilarious detail. An apparently ordered structure within the rectangle of the print reveals on closer inspection a riot of crazy, naughty and macabre goings on. Picasso's busy day is in the form of a strip cartoon and The bits John Constable left out is a very different version of The Haywain. Lockdown was a productive period. 'The idea of half the population of England standing in their doorways and banging pots and pans in unison for the NHS chimes perfectly with my vision. If the world goes bonkers, can I go even further?'
Born in 1961, Kate Boxer trained as an artist in the early 1990's at London art schools and has been working as a fine artist and exhibiting ever since, including biennial shows at North House Gallery.
Chris Orr, born in 1943, trained at the Royal College of Art (1964-67), taught at Cardiff, Central St Martins and the Royal College of Art, where he was Professor of Printmaking (1998-2008) and is now a Professor Emeritus. He became a Royal Academician in 1995 and received an MBE for services to the Arts in 2008.
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These images are a selection of the works available at the Gallery Please contact the gallery for further information.
North House GalleryThe Walls, Manningtree, EssexCO11 1AShttps://northhousegallery.co.uk/art-exhibition/artist/kate-boxer-chris-orr-ra/new-prints/Index.asp