Martin Parr  (British, 1952) 

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.

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Martin Parr, Switzerland, Zürich from Common Sense


Martin Parr
Switzerland, Zürich from Common Sense

André Simoens Gallery
Martin Parr, Florida. Love cakes from Common Sense


Martin Parr
Florida. Love cakes from Common Sense

André Simoens Gallery
Martin Parr, Japan. Tokyo from Common Sense


Martin Parr
Japan. Tokyo from Common Sense

André Simoens Gallery
Martin Parr, West Bay


Martin Parr
West Bay

Ma Galerie
Martin Parr, Sedlescombe


Martin Parr

Ma Galerie
Martin Parr, Untitled


Martin Parr
Peach Editions
Martin Parr, Atlanta, USA


Martin Parr
Atlanta, USA

Martin Parr, Queuing for hot dogs. New Brighton, England


Martin Parr
Queuing for hot dogs. New Brighton, England

Magnum Photos
Martin Parr, Children eat ice creams on the seafront, New Brighton, England


Martin Parr
Children eat ice creams on the seafront, New Brighton, England

Magnum Photos
Past auction results (208)  View All
Martin Parr, West Bay (Seagulls eating chips)


Martin Parr
West Bay (Seagulls eating chips), 1997


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Martin Parr, Christ's Hospital


Martin Parr
Christ's Hospital, 2010
color photograph


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Martin Parr, Original photograph


Martin Parr
Original photograph


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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
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)
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;, 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
  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
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