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Pace Galleries

Paul Graham

The Present

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About Paul Graham

Paul Graham (b. 1956, United Kingdom) is a British photographer living and working in New York City. In 1981, Graham completed his first acclaimed work, A1: The Great North Road. His use of color film in the early 1980s, at a time when British photography was dominated by traditional black-and-white social documentary, had a revolutionizing effect on the genre. Soon a new school of photography emerged with artists like Martin Parr, Richard Billingham, Simon Norfolk, and Nick Waplington making the switch to color. In 2011, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired the complete set of prints from The Great North Road, the original set Graham had used to print his first book in 1983. Over the past three decades, Graham has travelled widely, producing twelve distinct bodies of work. He has been the subject of more than eighty solo exhibitions worldwide. Graham joined the Gallery in 2011.

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Press Release

  • Paul Graham: The Present
    The Pace Gallery and Pace/MacGill Gallery are honored to debut Paul Graham’s newest body of work and his first exhibition in the United States since 2009. Paul Graham: The Present follows the artist’s critically acclaimed series a shimmer of possibility, which was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Pace and Pace/MacGill announced joint representation of the artist last year. The exhibition will be on view at 545 West 22nd Street from February 24 through April 21, 2012. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, February 23 from 6 to 8 P.M. The Present (2011) is Graham’s third body of work in a trilogy that includes a shimmer of possibility (2004–2006) and American Night (1998–2002). MACK will publish a 114-page hardcover monograph of the new work in conjunction with the exhibition.   Paul Graham: The Present features sixteen diptych and two triptych photographic works taken from life in contemporary New York. Shot in a manner that both honors and updates the legacy of great street photography—by such luminaries as Harry Callahan, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, and Garry Winogrand—this new series radiates with the frenetic energy of a city in constant motion, with its perpetual shifts in awareness of people and place. Graham, however, radically amplifies these fleeting intersections by bringing them to us complete with their double: twin images separated only by the briefest fraction of time. These sibling photographs allow us to see the moment and its doppelganger simultaneously arriving, as time unspools before our eyes. Coupled together, the images reveal unexpected and serendipitous affinities from moment to moment. In one diptych a woman walks confidently down the street, only to trip and fall in the next instant. In another, a man with an eye patch navigates his way down a crowded street; seconds later he is replaced by a businessman with an exaggerated wink. Happenstance collides with fate, fortune with misfortune, as the ebb and flow of the city twists and spirals in a mesmerizing dance. Graham reinforces the power of these unstaged vignettes by installing the large-scale works just a few inches off the floor (the diptychs measure more than twelve-feet wide and the triptychs more than eighteen-feet wide). The effect is all consuming, drawing the viewer into the action as it unfolds, where subtle shifts in focus transform the moment and our consciousness of it. Graham’s previous series a shimmer of possibility and American Night reflect his experiences across the breadth of America, while The Present is a paean to New York City, his hometown. All three bodies of work reflect upon contemporary America, but also explore the medium of photography as means of artistic expression. With American Night, a visual commentary on the social fracture of the United States, Graham pushes light to an extreme, intentionally over exposing his images to create blindingly white scenes bleached of nearly all color and detail, rendering near-invisible the dispossessed people and landscape. In a shimmer of possibility, Graham examines the compression of time in photography, slowing the cognitive process down as a way of recognizing the profound beauty in life’s overlooked moments. In Graham’s newest work, a sense of consciousness becomes the dominate theme, expressed through highly specific focus and the heightened awareness it renders. a shimmer of possibility and American Night have been the subject of seventeen collective solo exhibitions worldwide. In 2003, American Night went on view at PS1, Contemporary Art Center, New York. a shimmer of possibility debuted in the U.S. at the MoMA, New York, in 2009, and subsequently toured through London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, and Madrid. Graham was the subject of a major traveling survey of his work, co-organized in 2009 by the Museum Folkwang, Essen (2009), and Whitechapel Gallery, London (2011). Paul Graham: Photographs 1981–2006 was also shown at the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2009–10). steidlMACK published a 376-page hardcover book in association with the survey. Paul Graham: The Present will travel to Carlier│Gebauer, Berlin, in April, and Le Bal, Paris, in October.   Photographic books are an integral part of Graham’s practice. He has published a dedicated monograph for nearly every series, most famously his twelve-volume collection for a shimmer of possibility, created in collaboration with steidlMACK. This book was honored with the 2011 Paris Photo Book Prize for the most important photography book published in the past fifteen years. Paul Graham (b. 1956, United Kingdom) is a British photographer living and working in New York City. In 1981, Graham completed his first acclaimed work, by photographing life along England’s primary arterial road in a series of color photographs entitled A1: The Great North Road. His use of color film in the early 1980s, at a time when British photography was dominated by traditional black-and-white social documentary, had a revolutionizing effect on the genre. Soon a new school of photography emerged with artists like Martin Parr, Richard Billingham, Simon Norfolk, and Nick Waplington making the switch to color. In 2011, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired the complete set of prints from The Great North Road, the original set Graham had used to print his first book in 1983. Over the past three decades, Graham has travelled widely, producing twelve distinct bodies of work that include Beyond Caring (1984–1985), Troubled Land (1984–1986), New Europe (1986–1992), Television Portraits (1986–1990), Empty Heaven (1989–1995), Ceasefire (6–8 April 1994), End of the Age (1996–1998), Paintings (1997–1999), American Night (1998–2002), a shimmer of possibility (2004–2006), Films (2011), and The Present (2011). He has been the subject of more than eighty solo exhibitions worldwide. In 2001, photographs from Graham’s series Paintings were included in the group exhibition Plateau of Humankind as part of the 49th Venice Biennale. Paul Graham’s work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Whitney Museum of American Art; Tate Gallery, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; European Parliament, Brussels; Arts Council of Great Britain, London; Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany; Musee de la Photographie, Belgium; Museum Communali, Italy; National Museum of Photography, United Kingdom; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and Winnipeg Art Museum, Manitoba, as well as in private collections in the United States, Europe, and Japan. For more information about Paul Graham: The Present, please contact the Public Relations department of The Pace Gallery at 212.421.8987. For general inquiries, please email info2@thepacegallery.com; for reproduction requests, email reprorequest@thepacegallery.com.
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News

Art in America has picked Paul Graham's Pace exhibition The Present as one of the top photography shows of 2012. Graham's inaugural show at the gallery presented a new series of largescale diptychs of New York City street scenes, showing the same location shot moments apart. The exhibition was the only non-museum exhibition on the list. Click here to view the full list, selected by Joshua Chuang, associate curator of photography and digital media at the Yale University Art Gallery.

In the mid-20th century, photographers such as Garry Winogrand, Harry Callahan, Lee Friedlander, and Helen Levitt captured the vitality of the modern city and helped define the genre of “street photography.” Until this day, one of the guiding tenets of the genre was the “decisive moment.” Coined by the famous French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, the decisive moment was the rare, but fortuitous, convergence of human drama and compositional elegance that could occur within a photograph in the

This is a work from Paul Graham’s new show called “The Present,” at Pace Gallery’s 22nd Street space in New York. Just when it seemed impossible for anyone to revive the great American tradition of street photography, Graham brings it into the digital age. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) His large-scale color photos of New York aren’t digitally manipulated or anything like that, but by always presenting them in pairs or trios, shot seconds or less apart from about the same streetside spot, he

The Pace Gallery and Pace/MacGill 545 West 22nd Street, Chelsea Through April 21 The latest series by the British photographer Paul Graham reinvents street photography for an age of perpetual distraction. On view in Chelsea and collected in a new monograph, “The Present” completes a trilogy that includes the bleached-out landscapes of “American Night” and the stuttering vignettes of “a shimmer of possibility,” and brings the fractured, impaired vision of these earlier, countrywide bodies of wo

Paul Graham is a British artist based in New York and a recipient of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in the category of photography. His latest body of work is on view in “The Present” at the Pace Gallery until March 24. In conjunction with the exhibition, MACK will publish a monograph of his new work. Here, Graham discusses the sixteen diptychs and two triptych photographs in the show. THESE ARE NEW YORK STREET PHOTOGRAPHS, that unique genre of photography where you dance with the Brownian motion