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Huxley-Parlour Gallery showcases over 30 early works by Martin Parr
From ‘Butlins by the Sea’, 1972 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos.

LONDON.- A new exhibition, showcasing over 30 early works by Martin Parr, opened at Huxley-Parlour Gallery, in association with Rocket Gallery. The works on display are drawn from Parr’s early series, ‘The Non-Conformists’, ‘Bad Weather’, ‘Beauty Spots’, ‘A Fair Day’ and his first colour series ‘The Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton’, including rare and vintage prints.

In a career spanning over four decades, renowned photographer Martin Parr is best known for his striking use of highly saturated colour, and a focus on themes of class, consumer culture and leisure. This exhibition explores the roots of this artistic output, by displaying works from the first fifteen years of Parr’s career, predominantly lesser-known works produced in black and white.

The bodies of work featured in the exhibition were made by Parr between 1972 and 1986, and collectively illustrate the photographer’s transition from shooting in black and white in rural Northern England, to his seminal series ‘The Last Resort’, taken with colour film in the mid 1980s. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to see a selection of formative works that showcase Parr’s characteristic wry humour and eye for well-composed, dynamic composition.

Highlights included in the exhibition are Parr’s first ever colour photograph, taken in 1971, and works from his first series, made in Hebden Bridge in the years immediately following his graduation for Manchester Polytechnic. This series, ‘ The Non-Conformists’ captures a traditional community whose way of life, focused around farming, industry and the church, was in decline. Also included in the exhibition are works from Parr’s seminal series, ‘The Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton’, his first project to show a move towards his now distinct personal style, combining bright colours and daylight flash.

Martin Parr has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1994. He has published over 40 publications, and featured in over 80 exhibitions worldwide, including the international touring exhibition ParrWorld, and a retrospective at the Barbican Arts Centre, London, in 2002. The Martin Parr Foundation, founded in 2014, opened premises in Parr’s hometown of Bristol in 2017. In 2017, Parr was awarded the Sony World Photography Award.

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