28.10 – 18.12 2020
Paul Graham:A1 – The Great North Road
28.10 – 18.12.2020
Huxley-Parlour gallery are pleased to announce an exhibition of vintage photographs from Paul Graham’s 1983 series A1 – The Great North Road. A transformative series in the history of photography, A1 spanned the full length of England and into Edinburgh. Graham travelled repeatedly along the ‘Great North Road’ with a large format camera, to record the people, buildings, and landscape of early 1980’s Britain.
The exhibition is in collaboration with Anthony Reynolds Gallery and coincides with the launch of the latest MACK edition of the book.
The A1 was the first major road to run the entire length of England. Conceived as the central artery of the 1930s road system, the A1 travels from London, through the industrial Midlands and the north east of England, to Edinburgh. The 400 mile route was once the busiest road in the country, quickly receiving the title the ‘Great North Road’. In the late 1950s, however, the road was usurped by the fast and efficient motorway system.
In 1981 and 1982 Paul Graham travelled repeatedly along the A1 to record the people, buildings and landscape of Britain, with a large format camera. The resulting colour photographs were published by the artist in what is generally acknowledged to be one of the most influential photography books not least because of its exclusive use of colour. The works were exhibited widely at the time including in a British Council exhibition which travelled internationally.
Huxley-Parlour in collaboration with Anthony Reynolds Gallery are proud to present the first comprehensive exhibition of these works featuring the original vintage prints from the artist’s own collection.
‘Uniting the tradition of social documentary with a fresh approach to colour, this ground-breaking work paved the way for a new generation of British colour photographers to emerge.’
Video: Paul Graham A1 | Exhibition Walk Through
B. United Kingdom 1956
In 1981, Graham completed his first body of work, A1 – The Great North Road. The series of colour photographs captured life along England’s ageing arterial road, the A1. The pioneering series went on to receive critical acclaim, and was followed by Beyond Caring (1984-1985), which was a visual record of unemployment in Britain under Thatcher, and Troubled Land (1984-1986), which depicted landscapes in Northern Ireland during the years of the Troubles. Graham’s use of colour film in the early 1980s, at a time when British photography was dominated by traditional black-and-white social documentary, had a revolutionising effect on the genre.
Graham has since gone on to produce over 12 further bodies of work that include New Europe (1986-1992), Television Portraits (1986-1990), Empty Heaven (1989-1995), Ceasefire (April 1994), End of the Age (1996-1998), Paintings (1997-1999), American Night (1998-2002), a shimmer of possibility (2004-2006), Films(2011), The Present (2011), Does Yellow Run Forever? (2011-2014), and Financial Landscape (2017-present). Graham has produced dedicated monographs to nearly every series of work, his most celebrated, perhaps, was his twelve-volume collection, a shimmer of possibility, created in collaboration with steidlMACK. The book won the 2011 Paris Photo Book Prize for the most important photography book published in the past 15 years.
Paul Graham was born in the UK in 1956. Paul Graham’s work has been the subject of more than eighty international solo exhibitions. Works from Graham’s series Paintings were included in the exhibition, Plateau of Humankind, as part of the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001. In 2011, a twenty-five year survey of Graham’s work, Paul Graham: Photographs 1981-2006, was held at the Museum Folkwang, Essen and the Whitechapel Gallery, London. Graham has been awarded a number of prestigious awards, including the Hasselblad International Award for Photography (2012), the Royal Photographic Society Award, the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (both 2009) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2010). His works in held in the collection of Arts Council of Great Britain, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Tate Gallery, London and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
He lives and works in New York.