Paul Graham


Paul Graham Biography

Born 1956

Paul Graham is an English fine-art photographer whose work has been exhibited, published and collected internationally. In 2009, he won the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. He is also a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow (1983), and a Guggenheim Fellow (2010). 

Graham belongs to a rare group of photographers that were the final generation to enter photography before it became part of the broader contemporary art world. Whilst later image makers would approach the medium as ‘artists using photography’, this unaffiliated grouping - which includes Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Rineke Djikstra, Thomas Struth and Philip-Lorca DiCorcia - engaged with the medium at a time when it was not simply a component in an artists' panoply, but a dedicated reflection of our world.

In the early 1980's Graham was among the first photographers to unite contemporary color practice with the 'documentary' genre. In 1981/2 he completed 'A1 - The Great North Road', a series of color photographs from the length of the British A1 road, which had a transformative effect on the black and white tradition that dominated British photography to that point. This work, along with his other photographs of the 1980's - the color 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.