Contemporary Artists Biographies

  • Richard Billingham
  • Paul Graham
  • Chris Killip
  • Sunil Gupta
  • Susan Lipper
  • Eileen Perrier
  • Akram Zaatarir
  • Richard Billingham

    Richard Billingham (born 1970) graduated from the University of Sunderland in 1994 and in the same year took part in Who’s Looking at the Family at the Barbican Art Gallery, London. Ray’s a Laugh, the series for which he first acquired fame, was published in book form in 1996. In the following year he won the Citibank Photography Prize and his work was included in the Royal Academy exhibition Sensation. Billingham was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2001 following a solo exhibition at IKON, Birmingham. The artist is currently working on a feature film of Ray’s a Laugh, in which ‘White Dee’ from the Channel 4 series, Benefits Street is set to play Liz. He now lives in Wales and is a lecturer in Fine Art Photography at the University of Gloucester. The artist is represented by Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London.

    Paul Graham

    Paul Graham (born 1956) studied at Bristol University. Graham’s attraction to social themes and to the traces of history in the everyday is a recurrent characteristic of his work. One of his earliest series, A1—The Great North Road (1983) comprised a photographic record of places such as roadside cafes on the arterial route up the east side of England. In 1984 he completed Beyond Caring. Then, a number of trips to Northern Ireland resulted in three series: Troubled Land (1987), Umbra Res (1994) and Untitled (Cease Fire) (1994). Later Graham completed series on Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall and on Japan. Paul Graham participated in the Italian Pavilion of the 49th Venice Biennale (2001) then, in 2002, moved to the United States. He was one of twenty-four photographers included in Tate’s Cruel and Tender survey exhibition of 20th century photography (2003). He also had a solo exhibition at MOMA in 2009 with the series, a shimmer of possibility (2004–2006). The artist is represented by Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London.

    Sunil Gupta

    Sunil Gupta was born in New Delhi in 1953, where he lived until his family moved to Montreal in the late 1960s. He studied art in New York and then London, where he received his MA. In the 1980s, Gupta was an advisor to the Greater London Council’s Race Equality Unit and, with the curator Monika Baker, participated in Reflections of the Black Experience (Brixton Art Gallery, 1986): an exhibition of ten pictures by ten black and Asian photographers documenting their lives. The organising and staging of this exhibition was one of the key steps along the path to the formation of Autograph: the Association of Black Photographers in 1988. Gupta’s work has dealt with a number of issues surrounding homosexuality and being HIV-positive, particularly the personal and social implications in both Eastern and Western societies. His work is held in collections including the Arts Council of England, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Canada. The artist now divides his time between London and Delhi.

    Chris Killip

    Chris Killip (born 1946) was born on the Isle of Man and moved to London in 1964, working as an assistant to the advertising photographer Adrian Flowers. In 1969, after a time working freelance, he decided to focus on more personal projects. These have included Isle of Man: A Book About the Manx (1980) as well as commissions to photograph Bury St Edmunds and Huddersfield. In 1975, Killip was awarded a two-year fellowship from Northern Arts and moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. There, in 1977, he became founding director and curator of Side Gallery. His book of photographs taken in the north-east, In Flagrante, was first published in 1988. In 1991, Killip became Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University and he continues to live in the Unites States. In Flagrante Two was published in 2016.

    Susan Lipper

    Susan Lipper (born 1953) was raised in New York and graduated with an MFA in photography from Yale School of Art in 1983. After leaving Yale and following a three-year residence in London, Lipper returned to New York and started making trips around America in order to take photographs, resulting in a body of work that includes her first monograph Grapevine, which was published in 1994. Other projects include her second monograph, trip (a fictionalised road trip through small town America, mostly on and off Interstate 10 in Louisiana, 1993-1999) and Off Route 80 (a series of photographic landscapes and video portraits involving a return to Grapevine, 2006-2011). The artist’s work is held in collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In 2015, Lipper was a recipient of the Guggenheim Grant for Photography. Earlier this year, she completed another long term project in the California desert.

    Eileen Perrier

    Eileen Perrier was born in London in 1974 and is a graduate of The Royal College of Art. The artist comes from a cultural background of Ghanaian and Dominican descent. This has presented her with questions around identity, diversity and placement. Through personal work and commissioned projects, Perrier has photographed different members of her family living in London and Ghana and also includes sitters she has encountered through various strategies such as their occupation, location or a physical trait. Eileen Perrier’s work has been widely exhibited including at The Photographers’ Gallery, Tate Britain and Whitechapel Gallery in London. She has been artist in residence at Light Work (in partnership with Autograph ABP) and recently completed a portrait commission, Portraits of a Global Law School, with Kings College London.

    Akram Zaatari

    Akram Zaatari (born 1966) is a video artist who lives and works in Beirut. Co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation, he has based his work on collecting, studying, and archiving the photographic history of the Middle East as a register of social relationships and of photographic practices. The artist’s work is represented in collections including Tate, London; MOMA, New York and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Recent solo exhibitions include at Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Kunsthaus Zürich and Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven. In 2013, he represented Lebanon at the Venice Biennale. The artist is represented by Thomas Dane Gallery, London.