Paul Graham Wins 2012 Hasselblad Award

A1-29 (A1-The Great North Road), 1982, © Paul Graham

Photographer Paul Graham has been named the 2012 recipient of the Hasselblad Award, the first British photographer to win the prominent international prize.

Graham, hailing from Buckinghamshire, is a pioneer of color documentary photography in 1980’s Britain, influencing successive generations of young photographers. Self-taught, he grew up studying the works of American pioneers, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and Paul Strand. A-1 The Great Road North, a color series shot along the British motorway and Beyond Caring, a string of photographs shot in unemployment offices, were projects that brought Graham to critical and international acclaim in the early 80’s.

More recently, Graham’s work has become purposely abstruse as he challenges preconceived notions of the ‘style’ of documentary photography. The most exaggerated example is American Night. The series, shot in 2003, explores social and racial issues of the United States through over-exposed images that appear almost invisible. “The photography I most respect pulls something out of the ether of nothingness,” Graham states. American Night is featured in Graham’s body of work that is a part of the exhibition trilogy, The Present, now being exhibited at the Pace/MacGill gallery in New York City.

With the acceptance of this award, Graham joins the ranks of noted past winners and Aperture published photographers, Robert Adams, William Eggleston, and Nan Goldin.

Graham discusses his career and fresh photography in Aperture issue 199.