Albert and the Lion

Chris Orr (1943 - )

Aquatint

1987

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  • About the work
    Location
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall

    Penguins ready to dive underwater, while an elephant trunk steals a bun from a tea trolley, and a couple watch with alarm as their son’s arm is seized by a lion in a cage. This comical scene from the zoo refers to the Lancashire working-class poet Marriott Edgar’s popular monologue ‘The Lion and Albert’ (1930), popularised through his collaboration with an actor and comedian named Stanley Holloway. Published in the book Albert, ‘Arold and Others, Albert’s visit to Blackpool zoo ends up with him being eaten by a lion called Wallace.

    Chris Orr started making prints in his twenties, and discovered the power of the multiple to communicate. A medium like etching extended and enhanced his drawing, opening up new possibilities. He conceives his print like book pages, inviting viewers to 'read' his work and uncover hidden subtexts, as well as to look at it.

  • About the artist
    Born in London, Chris Orr studied at Ravensbourne College of Art, Hornsey, and the Royal College of Art (RCA). He later taught at the RCA and at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford. In 1971, he held his first solo exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery and has exhibited regularly at the Thumb Gallery, London. In 1998, Orr was appointed Professor of Printmaking at the RCA, a position he held for ten years. He was awarded an MBE in 2008 for services to printmaking.
  • Explore
    Materials & Techniques
    aquatint
  • Details
    Title
    Albert and the Lion
    Portfolio Title
    Artists' Choice
    Edition
    45/48
    Date
    1987
    Medium
    Aquatint
    Dimensions
    height: 30.40 cm, width: 30.40 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from the Royal College of Art, November 2007
    Inscription
    br: Chris Orr / 1987 ; verso bl: 45/48
    Provenance
    Royal College of Art
    GAC number
    18161/33