One of the most influential contemporary photographers, Martin Parr has turned his unique vision to a variety of subject from all across the globe. After graduating from Manchester Polytechnic, Parr exhibited his first series of colour photographs at Impressions Gallery entitled Home Sweet Home, and went on to become one of the true pioneers of colour photography in Britain. In 1986, Parr published Last Resort, a series of working class members of the public on holiday in New Brighton. The most influential of Parr's publications and exhibitions, the series launched Parr's career internationally and heralded in a new era of social documentary photography in Britain. In 1994, Parr became a member of Magnum Photographic Corporation and in 2002, the Barbican in conjunction with the The National Media Museum, initiated a retrospective of Parr's career which toured for 8 years.
In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in Parr's early black-and-white vintage photographs. Largely funded through the Arts Council, Parr created a number of series and publications exploring English identity. Influenced by the great British documentary photographer Tony Ray-Jones, Parr published and exhibited a number of projects including Bad Weather, Beauty Spots and A Fair Day. In 2013, the much anticipated Media Space opened with an exhibition devoted to a retrospective of Ray-Jone's photograhs and an exhibition of early black-and-white images from Martin Parr's Non-Conformist series.
Today, Parr has become a monolith in the contemporary photography world. He has published over 70 books and has edited 30 others, curated a number of exhibitions and his photographs are collected by MoMA, Tate Modern, Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Museum Folkwang, Essen among others.
Martin Parr was born in Epsom, Surrey, UK, in 1952. When he was a boy, his budding interest in the medium of photography was encouraged by his grandfather George Parr, himself a keen amateur photographer.
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 opens at Photokina.
In 2008 Martin Parr was guest curator at New York Photo Festival, curating the New Typologies exhibition.
Parrworld opened at Haus de Kunst, Mucich, in 2008. The show exhibited Parr's own collection of objects, postcards, his personal photography collection of both British and International artists, photo books and finally his own photographs. The exhibition toured Europe for the following 2 years.
At PhotoEspana, 2008, Martin Parr wins the Baume et Mercier award in recognition of his professional career and contributions to contemporary photography.
Martin Parr curated the Brighton Photo Biennial that took place in October 2010.
1974 Home Sweet Home, Impressions Gallery, York, and Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol
1976 Beauty Spots, Impressions Gallery, York and subsequent tour
1977 Photographer's Gallery, London
1978 Fotomania Gallery, Barcelona, Spain
1981 The Non-Conformists, Camerawork, London
1982c Rural Irish Photographers, Neikrug Gallery, New York
1982c Bad Weather, Photgrapher's Gallery, London and subsequent tour
1983 International Photography Festival, Malmo, Sweden
1984 British Photographic Art, Geology Museum, Beixing, China
1984c A Fair Day, Orchard Gallery, Derry and tour
1985 George Eastman House, Rochester
1986 Point of Sale, Salford City Art Gallery
1986c The Last Resort, Serpentine Gallery, London
1986 Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
1986 Arles Festival, France
1986 Fotograficentrum, Stockholm, Sweden
1986 Amsterdam Manifestation
1987 ICP Midtown, New York
1987 Spending Time, National Centre of Photography, Paris
1988 Kodak Gallery, Tokyo and Osaka
1989c The Cost of Living, Royal Photographic Society, Bath and tour
1991 Janet Borden, New York
1991 Gallery Jacques Gordat, Paris
1992 Signs of the Times, Janet Borden, New York
1992 Kiek in de Kok Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
1993c A Year in the Life of Chew Stoke, Chew Stoke Village Hall, Bristol
1993c Bored Couples, Gallery du Jour, Paris and subsequent tour
1993c Home and Abroad, Watershed Gallery, Bristol and international tour
1994c From A to B, 27 Welcome Break service stations, UK
1994 Curitiba Photo Festival, Brazil
1995c Small World, Photographer's Gallery, London, UK 1995 Small World and From A to B, National Centre of Photography, Paris
1995 Gallery du Jour, Paris
1996 Janet Borden, New York
1997c West Bay, Rocket Gallery, London
1998c Ooh La La, National Museum of Photography, Bradford
1998c Japonais Endormis, Gallery du Jour, Paris
1998 Gallery Riis, Oslo
1999c Common Sense, 43 locations worldwide
1999c Benidorm, Sprengel Museum, Hanover
2000 20/21 Gallery, Essen, Germany
2000c Autoportrait, Tom Blau Gallery, London
2000 Japonais Endormis, Kunsthalle, Rotterdam
2000 Gallery du Jour, Paris
2000 Kulturbeutel, Old Post Office, Mitte Berlin
2001c Think of England, Rocket Gallery
2002 Martin Parr: Photographic Works 1971-2000, Barbican Art Gallery,
2002c The Phone Show, Rocket Gallery, London
2002 Rose Gallery, Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica USA
2002 Sirieuze Zaken, Amsterdam
2002 Martin Parr Photoworks 1971 - 2000, Barbican Art Gallery and major
2002 Rocket Gallery London
2002 Rose Gallery, Los Angeles.
2003 Studio Trisorio, Naples
2003 National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen
2003 Kunsthalle Rotterdam
2003 Renia Sofia, Madrid
2003 20/21 Essen, Germany
2005 Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver
2005 PhotoEspana, Madrid
2005 Bon Marche, Paris
2005 Die Kunsthalle, Mannheim
2005 Rocket Gallery, London
2005 Montreal Festival of Photography 2005 Nicola von Senger Gallery, Zurich
2005 Kamel Mennour Gallery, Paris
2005 Fashion Show, Rocket Gallery, London
2005 Fashion Show, Bon Marche, Paris
2005 Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago
2005 Retrospective, MEP, Paris
2005 Common Sense, Niagra Gallery, Melbourne
2006 Food, Nordic Festival of Light,
2006 Port Elliot House, Port Elliot Literary Festival
2006 Retrospective, Forma Gallery, Milan
2006 Assorted Cocktail, Photokina, Cologne
2006 Mexico, Janet Borden Gallery
2007 Retrospective, Seoul Arts Centre
2007 Autoportrait, ZPAFiS-KA Gallery, Krakow
2007 Fashion Magazine, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
2007 Fashion Newspaper, Paul Smith Space, Tokyo
2007 Retrospective, Kulturhuset, Stockholm
2007 Assorted Cocktail, C/O Berlin
2008 Dubai, The Third Line, Dubai
2008 ParrWorld, Haus der Kunst, Munich
2008 Assorted Cocktail, Santralistanbul, Turkey
2008 ParrWorld, Breda Design Museum, Netherlands
2008 Small world, Breda Photo, Netherlands
2008 Melbourne Cup, Niagara Gallery, Melbourne
2009 Parr-O-Rama, Janet Borden, New York
2009 Planete Parr, Jeu De Paumme, Paris
2009 Playas, Kamel Mennour, Paris
2009 Martin Parr at Paris-Beijing Photo Gallery, Beijing
2009 Luxury, GunGallery, Stockholm
2009 Luxury, Nicola Von Senger, Zurich
2009 ParrWorld, Baltic, Gateshead, UK.
2009 Assorted Cocktail, CasalSolleric, Palma, Majorca
2009 Martin Parr 'Sei Fotografie', Macro, Rome
2009 Retrospective of Books, Rocket Gallery, London
2010 Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago2010 Playas, Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City
2010 Martin Parr at PHOTOINK, New Delhi
2010 Working Men's Clubs, Earlswood Working Men's Club, Cardiff
2010 Luxury, Janet Borden, New York
2010 Four Decades, Studio Trisorio, Napoli
2010 Luxury, Galeria Espacio Minimo, Madrid
2010 The Real World, Kaunas Photo Gallery, Lithuania
2010 Un Monde a Parr, Rennes, France
2010 Black Country Stories, The Public, West Bromwich
2010 Luxury, Month of Photography, Bratislava
2010 All Things Parr, Rose Gallery, Santa Monica, USA
2011 Assorted Cocktail, DOX, Prague, Czech Republic
2011 The Real World, Anzenberger Gallery, Vienna, Austria
2011 The Goutte d'Or, Institut des Cultures d'Islam, Paris, France
2011 On The Beach, Photomed Festival, Sanary-sur-mer, France
2011 Luxury, Bogota Photography Festival, Colombia
2011 What Would You Save in a Flood? In association with Oxfam, Proud
2011 Small World, Guernsey Photography Festival, Guernsey, 2011
2011 Albania 1990, Common Sense & Small Word, The National gallery of
Arts, Tirana, Albania
2011 Bristol and West, M Shed, Bristol, UK