© Martin Parr

From the series: The Last Resort

Martin Parr

This is the first large-scale exhibition of work by the English photographer Martin Parr (Epson, Surrey, 1952) to be shown in the Netherlands. The Kunsthal is presenting one hundred and fifty works made between 1970 and 2002 by one of the most influential and innovative photographers of our time. Parr focuses on the life-style of the middle class and holds up a mirror to modern Western society, especially in its British variant. Parr's work is provocative and regularly sparks off controversies. His incisive photographic method with undisguised flashlight exposes everything - one of the reasons why the public does not always appreciate his work. His revolutionary images and fresh approach gave the social documentary a new impulse, winning him international appreciation and admiration.

The exhibition "Martin Parr Retrospective" includes the less well-known black and white photographs from the 1970s as well as the energetic colour series of the 80s and recent work from the last decade. Parr has engaged in countless projects since graduating from Manchester Polytechnic. He made his first series of photographs in the 1970s, in which he commented on the social relations of the British middle class to which he himself belongs. The black and white series "Love Cubes" (1972) raised the eternally interesting question of how we choose our partners. "Home Sweet Home" (1974) revealed Parr's fascination with personal taste. He first charted the social landscape of the West, and in particular of Great Britain, with photographs of food in the series "Junkfood".

In 1983 the black and white photography was replaced by confrontational colour photographs. Parr spent three years on the series "The Last Resort" on the decline of the English resort New Brighton. This series triggered his international breakthrough as a socially committed, political photographer. It was followed by several photographic series with the same socially engaged character.

Parr had already achieved the status of an internationally recognised documentary photographer when he tackled the international tourism industry in the series "Small World" (1995). The close-ups in this series document mass tourism in an ironical and cynical manner. Martin Parr has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1994.

5 June - 31 August 2003
Hours: Tue-Sat 10 am - 5 pm
Sundays and public holidays 11 am - 5 pm

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