Home » Museums and Art Galleries of London » Unseen City : Photos by Martin Parr at the Guildhall Art Gallery – 4th March to 31st July 2016

Unseen City : Photos by Martin Parr at the Guildhall Art Gallery – 4th March to 31st July 2016

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Lord Mayor’s Show, Guildhall, City of London, 2013. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Speaking to a packed audience at The Hepworth Wakefield last week at the ‘in conversation with Anne McNeill, Director of Impressions Gallery at his major exhibition of 400 works, “The Rhubarb Triangle and other Stories : Photographs by Martin Parr”, Parr, in jest remarked that being from Surrey partly explained his critique on taking photographs.

Parr also said that he felt guilty about the fact that he had done so well during the government of 80’s Britain for  much of his work he is known but added that the intent of his social documentary photography was and is equally as “questionable” and polemical in intent and subject matter as that of photojournalists who photograph hard-hitting humanitarian subjects.

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Lord Mayor’s Show, Guildhall, City of London, 2014. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

The connoisseurship of Parr’s critical acclaim and photographic credentials as a world-leading photographer and President of Magnum can be seen at three major venues. “Unseen City : Photos by Martin Parr” at the Guildhall Art Gallery (London), which is one of three major exhibitions of Parr’s work in the UK this year is a culmination of Parr’s two-year photographer-in-residence at the City of London Corporation (COLC), where he was commissioned to photograph a ‘behind-the-scenes’ view of the City of London across three mayoralties.

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Cart Making, Guildhall, City of London, 2015. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Featuring 120 photographs, (20 of which have been acquired by the Guildhall Art Gallery for the contemporary permanent collection), it represents Parr’s atypical witty and questionable take on British institutional life. Showing a ‘behind the scenes’ view of  livery companies, ritual, tradition and high-profile occasions and open democracy where guests have included Her Majesty the Queen, Lord Mayors and city dignitaries the works portray the character, traditions, and people who make up the City to which Parr delivers a contemporary perspective of British institutional life in idiosyncratic style, posing questions on institutional life, open democracy and the nature of British identity with wit, brilliance, humour and laconic surprise.

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Silent Ceremony, swearing-in of new Lord Mayor, Fiona Woolf, Guildhall, City of London, 2013. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

“Unseen City : Photos by Martin Parr”, Guildhall Art Gallery of London, (4 March – 31 July 2016) will run parallel with “Strange and Familiar : Britain as Revealed by International Photographers” curated by Martin Parr Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, (16 March-19 June 2016). “The Rhubarb Triangle and other Stories : Photographs by Martin Parr”, The Hepworth Wakefield, (4 February-12 June 2016).

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Lord Mayor’s Show, City of London, 2013. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

An Artist’s Platform : A Q&A with Martin Parr will be held on 26 April 2016 between 6-8 pm and lunchtime curator’s talks will be held one Thursday per month at 1 pm on the 10 March, 7 April, 5 May, 2 June, 7 July 2016.

Opening Times: MondaySaturday, 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday, 12 noon – 4 pm. Admission: £5.00 (concessions available).

Contributor : Pippa Jane Wielgos

For more information and book tickets, visit the City of London website here

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