Paul Graham: Films

21 Apr 2011 – 4 Jun 2011

Anthony Reynolds Gallery

London, United Kingdom


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  • Oxford Circus, Tottenham Ct Road

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Paul Graham has always challenged his medium, working with its very nature, its dependence on light, its recognition of detail, its capacity to document of the moment. He has always sought the telling trace hinting at the broader picture, leaving out as much as he puts in. In this new body of work, however, he has addressed the material itself, the stuff that gave birth to the themes and series that measure out his extraordinary career. While examining his work ofà‚ theà‚ pastà‚ 30à‚ yearsà‚ forà‚ theà‚ major survey exhibitionà‚ arrivingà‚ atà‚ theà‚ Whitechapel Gallery this month, Graham became enraptured wit h the base material of his craft and began to reflect upon the physical substance with which his images were made. Scanning the negatives for the exhibit ion, he beganà‚ alsoà‚ to scan the blank film ends and unexposed frames from each body of work. What Graham gathered in the process he saw as a ‘negative retrospective' of his practice. These luscious and beguiling abstractà‚ imagesà‚ areà‚ nothingà‚ moreà‚ thanà‚ greatlyà‚ enlargedà‚ imagesà‚ ofà‚ rawà‚  filmà‚ emulsion,à‚ theà‚ colourà‚ dye clouds formedà‚ inà‚ the exposureà‚ and development ofà‚ film.à‚  Kodacolour,à‚ Fujicolour,à‚ Tri­X;à‚ Ektacolour,à‚ Kodachrome —à‚ all have goneà‚ forà‚ good orà‚ areà‚ fadingà‚ fast.à‚ Soà‚ her e isà‚ a homageà‚ toà‚ the history ofà‚ filmà‚ photography,à‚ a great romance that is nearly over, a farewell to its magic and its supremacy as the art medium of the 20th century,à‚ aà‚ trick ofà‚ science,à‚ conjured out of lightà‚ andà‚ crystal.à‚  Thisà‚ probing ofà‚ theà‚ hiddenà‚ beautyà‚ of eachà‚ and every emulsion parallels the wonder of seeing the photographic image emerge in the darkroom; out of uninspiring snippetsà‚ ofà‚ celluloidà‚ aà‚ stunningà‚ auroraà‚ ofà‚ imagesà‚ comeà‚ toà‚ life. For this exhibit ion t hese images, FILMS, are presented smallà‚ and jewel­like,à‚ framedà‚ inà‚ aà‚ classicà‚ manner thatà‚ reflectsà‚ bothà‚ theirà‚ trueà‚ vintageà‚ associationsà‚ and endowsà‚ them withà‚ theà‚ respectà‚ thatà‚ theirà‚ ‘parents'à‚ truly deserve.


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