Martin Parr (British, b.1952) is a photographer and photojournalist known for taking photographs that critically look at various aspects of modern life in provincial England. Parr wanted to become a documentary photographer from the age of 14, and he has said that his grandfather, who was an amateur photographer, was one of the people who influenced him to take up photography. He attended Manchester Polytechnic from 1970 to 1973 to study photography.

Parr taught photography intermittently in the 1970s while working as a professional photographer. When he created Bad Weather (1982) and A Fair Day (1984), he was recognized as a skilled black-and-white photographer, although he switched to color photography in 1984. Parr has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1994. Critics have described Parr's work as intimate, satirical, and anthropological. Parr focuses on his works with a marvelous intensity that many people do not understand. For example, he entered ordinary homes and took photographs of objects and people, combined them with quotes from the subjects, and produced Signs of the Times: A Portrait of the Nation's Tastes (1992).

Parr has produced numerous publications, such as A Fair Day, Promenade Press, UK (1984), Small World, Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK (1995), and Signes des Temps, Textuel, France (2006). Parr is recognized all over the world, and his works are held in collections in diverse places, including Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, UK, Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany, and Yokohama Museum of Art in Japan. Parr has participated in both solo and group exhibitions worldwide. His group exhibitions include Three Perspectives on Photography, at Hayward Gallery, London, England (1979), The Past and Present of Photography, at MOMA, Tokyo, Japan (1990), and European Photography Award 1985-1994, at Kultur Zentrum, Bad Hamburg, Germany (1994). He has also held solo exhibitions, such as Signs of the Time, at Janet Borden, New York, NY (1992) and Small World, at Photographer's Gallery, London, UK (1995). In 2004, the University of Wales (UK) appointed Parr as a professor of photography, and, in the same year, he was also a guest artistic director for Rencontres d'Arles (France). Parr is represented by the Magnum Photo Agency. Parr lives and works in Northern Ireland, UK, where he has been since 1980.

Timeline

1952
Born in Epsom, Surrey, UK
1970–1973
Studied Photography, Manchester Polytechnic, Manchester, UK
1975
Received the Arts Council of Great Britain Photography Award
1975
Moved to Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire and started the Abert Street Workshop
1994
Became member of Magnum Photos
2004
Served as guest artistic director for Rencontres d'Arles
2004
Appointed professor of Photography at the University of Wales

Exhibitions

2009
Planète Parr PARR, Musée du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France
2008–2009
Fashion and Luxury, André Simoens gallery, Knokke, Belgium
2008
Martin Parr Exhibitions in 2008:
The Third Line Gallery, Dubai (solo exhibition)
Kulturhuset, Stockholm (solo exhibition)
ROSEGALLERY, Santa Monica, CA, USA
Stedelijk Museum Post CS, Amsterdam
Momentum Photographie/Editionen, Vienna (solo exhibition)
2007
Martin Parr Exhibitions in 2007:
Villa Grisebach Auktionen, Berlin, Germany
ArteF Fine Art Photography Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland
Galeria Espacio Minimo, Madrid, Spain (solo exhibition)
Rocket Gallery, London, UK (solo exhibition)
2006
Martin Parr Exhibitions in 2006:
Brandts Museet for Fotokunst, Odense (solo exhibition)
MADRE Museo d'Arte Donna Regina, Napoli, Italy
Palais des Beaux-Arts/Bozar, Bruxelles, Belgium
2005
The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
2004
Galerie du Jour agnes b., Paris, France
2004
Metronom-Fundacio Rafael Tous d'Art Contemporani, Barcelona, Spain
2002–2004
Photographic Works 1971–2000, Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK; Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France; Kunsthal, Rotterdam, Netherlands; National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen, Denmark; National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford, UK; Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany
1995–2004
Small World, Explorafoto, Salamanca, Spain; Photographic Festival, Skopelos, Greece; Chapelle de l’Ancien Carmel de Tarbes, France; Maison de la Culture d’Amiens, France; The Photographers' Gallery, London, UK
2003
Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY, USA
2003
Tate Modern, London, UK
2002
Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
2000
Autoportrait & Flowers, Galerie du Jour, Paris, France
2000
Think of England, Rocket Gallery, London, UK
1999
Food, Design for Living, Kevin Hall Gallery, Glasgow, UK
1999
Common Sense, Amsterdam Centrum voor Photography, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Australian Center for Photography, Paddington, Australia; Rocket gallery, London, UK; Glasgow Film and Video Workshop, Glasgow, UK; The Photography Gallery, Dublin, Ireland; Schaden.com, Köln, Germany; Galerie du Jour, Paris, France; Tetra Gallery House of Photography, Poprad, Slovakia
1998
Japanese Computers, Galerie du Jour, Paris, France
1995
Small World/From A to B, Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, France
1994
From A to B, 27 Welcome Break Service Stations, UK
1993
A Year in the Life of Chew Stoke, Village Hall, Bristol, UK
1993
Bored Couples, Galerie du Jour, Paris; subsequent tour
1993
Home and Abroad, Watershed Gallery, Bristol , UK
1992
Signs of the Times, Janet Borden, New York, NY
1989
The Cost of Living, Royal Photographic Society, Bath, UK
1987
Spending Time, Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, France
1986
The Point of Sale, Salford City Art Gallery, Manchester, UK
1986
The Last Resort, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK
1984
Fair Day, Orchard Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland
1982
Bad Weather, The Photographers' Gallery, London, UK
1981
The Non-Conformists, Camerawork, London (solo exhibition)
1978
Fotomania Gallery, Barcelona (solo exhibition)
1978
Art for Society, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1977
Photographer's Gallery, London (solo exhibition)
1976
Beauty Spots, Impressions Gallery, York and subsequent tour (solo exhibition)
1974
Home Sweet Home, Impressions Gallery, York, and Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol (solo exhibition)
1972
Butlins by the Sea, Impressions Gallery, York

Public Collections

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tate Modern, London, UK
Arts Council of Great Britain, UK
Museum for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
George Eastman House, Rochester, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Getty Museum, Malibu, CA
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK
Kodak, France
Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
Museum of Modern Art, Tempere, Finland
British Council, London, UK
Irish Arts Council, Dublin, Ireland
Australian National Gallery, Canberra, Australia
Paris Audiovisual, Paris, France
Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany

Literature

2006
The Photobook : A History, Vol II (with Gerry Badger), Phaidon, UK
2006
Signes des temps, Textuel, France
2005
Fashion Magazine, Magnum Photos, France
2005
Martin Parr vu par..., Point de Vues, France
2004
The Photobook : A History, Vol I (with Gerry Badger), Phaidon, UK; (Le Livre de photographies : Une Histoire, Vol I) Phaidon, France
2002
Martin Parr, Phaidon, UK; Phaidon, France
1999–2001
Boring Postcards, Phaidon, UK; (Langweilige Postkarten) Germany
2000
Think of England, Phaidon, UK
2000
Martin Parr: Autoportrait, Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK
1999
Common Sense, Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK
1999
Sguardi Gardesoni, Chartra, Italy
1999
Flowers, Browns and Trebruk, UK
1986–1998
The Last Resort, Promenade Press, UK/Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK
1995
Small World, Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK
1994
From A to B, BBC Books, UK
1993
Home and Abroad, Jonathan Cape, UK
1992
Sign of the Times, Cornerhouse, UK
1992
Bored Couples, Galerie du Jour, France
1989
The Cost of Living, Cornerhouse, UK
1984
A Fair Day, Promenade Press, UK