Early Works by Martin Parr
RRB Photobooks & the Martin Parr Foundation are delighted to present Martin Parr – Early Works.
The book covers the early part of Parr’s career, comprised of images shot between 1970 and 1984, mainly in the north of England and Ireland. The book contains many of Parr’s iconic early images, as seen in earlier publications such as Bad Weather and A Fair Day.
The work weaves Parr’s better known black and white work with over 20 previously unpublished images, adding new breadth and perspective to Parr’s prolific body of work.
Early Works presents images from many of Parr’s black and white series’ shot between 1970 and 1984, including Bad Weather, Non-Conformists, and Yates’s Wine Lodge, alongside a new selection of never before published imagery.
Martin Parr became photographer when his grandfather lent him a camera, and when he known the work of Robert Frank and Garry Winogrand.
“But what was most exciting for me was seeing the work of Tony Ray-Jones. This was one of those moments when your life is changed. You see something and think, ‘Ahh, this is the aspiration I can look to in terms of work.” says Parr. “We are quite an eccentric nation, and the wryness of observation that Tony Ray-Jones did so well was something I aspired to myself. There is a humour and there is always a tragedy – especially at the seaside. It always feels slightly sad in a sense. They’re all meant to be jolly but they’re often quite run down. So that contradiction and ambiguity I very much like.”
Parr set off to photograph the coast and countryside of north England and Northern Ireland, creating series of black and white works that laid the foundation for the next 50 years of his practice. In the new book, Martin Parr: Early Works (RRB Photobooks/Martin Parr Foundation), the photographer takes us back to those formative years, painting a great portrait of Britain.
“I’m very fond of my early black and white pictures,” Parr says. “Although they are almost two generations away, I remember taking every single picture and the excitement and sheer joy of going out in the world and finding picture. Most of the time we don’t find pictures, so these are the cherished times when it falls into place. To achieve that, you have to keep shooting and be obsessed – which I am. It’s so nice to see the fruits that this ultimately bears.”
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: MPF and RRB Photobooks (2019)
Size: 7.8 x 11 inches
Martin Parr studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic, from 1970 to 1973. Since that time, Martin Parr has worked on numerous photographic projects. He has developed an international reputation for his innovative imagery, his oblique approach to social documentary, and his input to photographic culture within the UK and abroad. In 1994 he became a full member of Magnum Photographic Corporation. In recent years, he has developed an interest in filmmaking, and has started to use his photography within different conventions, such as fashion and advertising. In 2002 the Barbican Art Gallery and the National Media Museum initiated a large retrospective of Martin Parr’s work. This show toured Europe for the next 5 years. Martin Parr was appointed Professor of Photography in 2004 at The University of Wales Newport campus. Martin Parr was Guest Artistic Director for Rencontres D’Arles in 2004. In 2006 Martin Parr was awarded the Erich Salomon Prize and the resulting Assorted Cocktail show opened at Photokina. In 2008 Martin Parr was guest curator at New York Photo Festival, curating the New Typologies exhibition. At PhotoEspana, 2008, Martin Parr won the Baume et Mercier award in recognition of his professional career and contributions to contemporary photography. Martin Parr will be curating the Brighton Photo Biennial in Oct 2010.