The Whitechapel Gallery will be showing a retrospective exhibition of works entitled “Paul Graham: Photographs 1981-2006” from 20 April to 19 June 2011 under the curatorship of Museum Folkwang. Together with the Tate Modern, the Whitechapel Gallery is considered to be the most prestigious exhibition venue for contemporary art in London. After Essen in 2009 and Hamburg in 2010 this will be the final stage of a successful cycle of exhibitions, sponsored by RWE.
The British photographer Paul Graham comes from the post World War Two tradition of social documentary photography in the UK, a tradition which he continued to develop in his own artistic style. The exhibition provides an overview of his oeuvre from 1981 to 2006. Under this cooperation with Museum Folkwang, London will be the last stage for the time being.
Graham, who was born in 1956, focuses on social reality while mistrusting the understanding of photography as a documentary medium: “I work along that line where documentary and artistic photography interact with one another.”
(f.l.t.r.) Gallery owner Anthony Reynolds, freelance curator Kirsty Ogg, artist Paul Graham and CEO of npower Volker Beckers at The Whitechapel Gallery in London.
In his project “A Shimmer of Possibility” he questions that “decisive moment” which the legendary photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson endeavoured to capture. With Graham, small series of photos instead of single large-format photographs produce a river of numerous moments, streams of meditation that counterbalance any loud, garish “Wow!”.
“Photography is still a powerful medium,” says Paul Graham. “But like the language of the novel, it continually needs renewal – not silly games but questioning its essence.” Graham’s answer to this question was on show at Museum Folkwang in Essen and at Deichtorhallen in Hamburg.