Artist biography

English photographer. He studied at Bristol University (BSc, 1978) and in 1980 held his first solo exhibition, House Portraits (1980), which featured large format images of modern, detached suburban houses. An initial influence from the colour documentary work of William Eggleston was reflected in his own café interiors of the early 1980s, many of which appeared in the series A1—The Great North Road (1983), a photographic record of ordinary places on an old national arterial road. These pictures provided evidence of Graham's attraction to social themes and to the traces of history in the everyday, a recurrent characteristic of his work. In 1984 he completed Beyond Caring, a series of photographs of Department of Health and Social Security offices, that could be read politically in the light of the period's high unemployment and unpopular government. A series of trips to Northern Ireland, beginning in 1984, resulted in three series addressed to the troubles: Troubled Land (1987), which looked for evidence of political instability in the landscape; In Umbra Res (1994), which concentrated on images of people; and Untitled (Cease Fire) (1994), which reflected on the nature of peace and instability in a series of images of the sky. Later he completed a series on Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, New Europe (1993); on Japan, Empty Heaven (1995), and a series of portraits of young people in clubs and bars, End of an Age (1999).

Empty Heaven (exh. cat., interview by U. Grosenick, Wolfsburg, Kstmus., 1995)
G. Wearing, A. Wilson and C. Squiers: Paul Graham (London, 1996)
Paul Graham: End of an Age, interview by J. Winters (Zurich, 1999)

10 December 2000

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