Chris Orr was born in 1943 in London, and studied at Ravensbourne College of Art from 1959 to 1963, Hornsey College of Art from 1963 to 1964 and the Royal College of Art, London, from 1964 to 1967. He went on to teach part-time at Cardiff College of Art, Central St Martins, London and at the Royal College of Art, London.
He has been Professor of Printmaking at the Royal College of Art since 1998.
Chris Orr has had many one-man shows in the UK, including the Serpentine Gallery, London in 1971, the Whitechapel Gallery, London and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, in 1976. International one-man shows include Galleria Grafica, Tokyo, Japan, in 1980, Jay Street Gallery, New York, USA, in 1983 and Print Guild, Melbourne, Australia in 1987. He has exhibited regularly at the Jill George Gallery since 1978.
Orr was made a fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1985, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers in 1988 and a Royal Academician in 1995. He lives and works in Buckingham and London.