‘A1: The Great North Road’ was Paul Graham’s first monograph (self-published in 1983) but was by no means his last. The following 4 years saw two more books published in almost Identical design under Grey Editions. In 1990 Graham took another look at Northern Ireland in ‘In Umbra Res’ before turning his gaze on ‘New Europe’, Japan, and most recently America in ‘American Night’ and ‘A Shimmer of Possibility’.
A full list of Graham’s monographs can be found below:
Images Online: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/a1.html
Here, in Graham’s first publication, he documents both the physical landscape and people that inhabit the roadside service stations, rest-stops and motels of the Great North Road in order to ‘weave a picture of England in the 1980’s’.
Images online: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/beyondcaring.html#a
‘Beyond Caring’ chronicles the state of employment in 80’s Britain through images made in the waiting rooms, corridors and cubicles of the department of social security and department of employment.
Images Online: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/troubledland.html
Troubled Land was Graham’s last book produced in the 80’s and followed the style of the two previous publications via ‘Grey Editions’. This time examining the subtle relationship between the landscape of Northern Ireland and the ‘troubles of its society’.
Images Online: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/neweurope.html
‘New Europe seeks to dig beneath the utopian dream of a united continent arising to face the 21st century. Paul Graham’s photographs reflect on the inescapable shadow of history that falls over each nation’s conscience, from the dictatorships of Franco and Hitler, to the Holocaust and the Irish conflict.’ (From back cover of ‘New Europe’)
Images Online: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/emptyheaven.html
Another book I havn’t seen but again there are good resources online. Check out two reviews/reflections by TJ Proechel or ‘Some Pictures, Some News‘.
This book features a collection of Graham’s images, along with essays and an interview to provide a solid overview of his work up to 1996. The extensive interview with Gillian Wearing, is alone worth the read and to find a conversation with the great Lewis Baltz at the end of the book is a great treat.
Images Online: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/endofanage.html
From the publisher: From the publisher: “End of an Age is a meditation on the transition from adolescence to adulthood at the end of the postwar order. Ultra-sharp direct flash images alternate with blurred, available-light photographs, a long, inquiring, and elegiac look at young white adults facing an uncertain future after the end of white, Western mono-culture.”
Images Online: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/americannight.html
An examination or at least a mediation on the great divides in America. A combination of super high key images depicting subjects walking and carrying bags, and slick, saturated color images of American dream houses. It’s certainly worth a look but I got much more from an exhibition of this work than I do from the book.
Images Online: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/possibility.html
I really have no idea how to describe these books, or what they are even about. I guess they are little snapshots of life (and lives), they are charming and fun poems or narratives which I’m sure those more literate could base thesis’ on, but for me the enjoyment is in coming to these books with no preconceived notions of greatness or enlightenment and simply watching moments unfold.
The Present, 2012
I know very little of this book as it has only just launched but there is a detailed review over on the Photo-Eye blog.