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 late 1970s and 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 after, 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 A1, the original group Graham had used to print his first book in 1983.
Over the past three decades, Graham has traveled widely, producing 14 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), The Present (2011), Does Yellow Run Forever? (2011–2014), and Financial Landscape (2017-present). Graham has published a dedicated monograph for nearly every series of work, most famously his twelve-volume collection titled 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 15 years.
Graham has been the subject of more than 80 solo exhibitions worldwide. In 2001, photographs from his series Paintings were included in the exhibition, Plateau of Humankind, as part of the 49th Venice Biennale. In 2011, the Museum Folkwang, Essen and the Whitechapel Gallery in London mounted Paul Graham: Photographs 1981–2006, a twenty-five-year survey of the artist's work. In 2015-16, Pier 24 Photography's first solo artist exhibition was of Graham's American Trilogy: American Night, a shimmer of possibility and The Present. The book, The Whiteness of the Whale (Mack 2015), was published on the occasion of this exhibition.
Graham is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the 2009 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize and the 2012 Hasselblad Foundation International Award, considered to be photography’s highest honor.
Graham's work is included in public collections around the world, including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Whitney Museum of American Art; Tate Gallery, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; 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.
Graham has been represented by Pace and Pace/MacGill Gallery since 2011.