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Paul Graham

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Above images
Acquired through the generosity of the Photography Council Fund
and The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, New York

“Useful pictures start by seeing”
Robert Adams

Paul Graham (UK, 1956) is one of that remarkable generation of photographers born in the 1950’s that have come to prominence in art photography today (Nan Goldin, Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky, Rineke Dijkstra, Thomas Ruff, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, etc) whose creatively formative years coincided with the rich flowering of postwar American photography. Whilst later image makers would approach the medium through ‘artists using photography’, this generation committed to photography at a time when it was not part of the art world. The work of Robert Adams, William Eggleston, Garry Winogrand, Stephen Shore, or Diane Arbus were important influences, all of whose images came from a tumultuous period in the late 1960-70's, a time of questioning the world and our place within it, creating work that was firmly rooted in expressing itself through what could be observed, with trusting what you could see with your own eyes.

Paul Graham was the first photographer to unite contemporary colour photography with the classic genre of social documentary. In 1981/2 he made 'A1—The Great North Road', a series of colour photographs from along the length of the British A1 road, which had a transformative effect on the black and white tradition that had dominated British art photography to that point. This work, along with his other photographs of the 1980's - the colour images of unemployment offices in 'Beyond Caring' (1984-85), and the sectarian marked landscape of Northern Ireland in 'Troubled Land' (1984-86) - were pivotal in reinvigorating and expanding this area of photographic practice, by both broadening it's visual language, and questioning how such photography might operate. Photographers like Martin Parr made the switch to colour soon after, and a new school of British Photography evolved with the subsequent colour work of Richard Billingham, Tom Wood, Paul Seawright, Anna Fox, Simon Norfolk, Julian Germain, Nick Waplington, etc.

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Paul Graham
New York, NY
New York
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Web Links
Paul Graham Archive
Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London
Grenberg Van Doren Galery, New York
carlier | gebauer, Berlin
Salon 94
Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris, Brussels
La Fábrica Galería, Madrid
A shimmer of possibility - Paul Graham at MoMA, New York, February 4–May 18, 2009
Cruel and Tender, Tate Modern, London, 2003
Paul Graham on wikipedia
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