Institut für
Kunstdokumentation und


Martin Parr Retrospective

NRW Forum Dusseldorf

19 July - 10 Nov. 2019

Curator: Ralph Goertz


The English photographer Martin Parr is considered one of the most important representatives of contemporary documentary photography. He is a chronicler of our time, scanning the world with his precise and loving eyes while holding up the mirror.


"Extremley close and incredibly intense."

Katja Lüber, ARD


South Wing. Martin Parr Retrospective


North Wing. Martin Parr Retrospective


The newspaper DIE WELT announced the Martin Parr Retrospective as one of the nine best exhibitions of this summer 2019 in Europe!


Chichen Itza, Mexico 2002 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos


"He condenses reality, dramatizes the banal, until it becomes something special"

monopol Magazin


"Martin Parr Retrospective at NRW-Forum is entertainment as it's best."

Hartmut Bühler, Ruhrspreak


First view at the NRW-Forum during the installation of the new series Allotment Gardener.


The oldest series by Martin Parr Bad Weather was framed new and is waiting for the installation.


First Martin Parr Retrospective with 400 photographs in Germany


For his first retrospective exhibit in Germany Ralph Goertz, curator and director of the IKS, invites Martin Parr to NRW-Forum Duesseldorf. Next to his most famous photographs from about four decades, the British photographer Martin Parr focuses on a very German clisheé: Allotment Gardeners


Martin Parr with curator Ralph Goertz / photo: Dirk Rose © IKS


1200 visitors at the opening


Most successful opening at NRW-FOrum since "Women: Lindbergh / Winogrand" back in 2017. People were standing in long lines to enter the exhibition.


Over 40 journalists and TV teams from ARD, WDR, arte and Deutsche Welle came to the press conference


"It's impressive how precise that man can observe".

Axel Rühle, Süddeutsche Zeitung


photos: Isabel Hernandez © IKS


His favorite motive is the human being in his everyday or self-chosen environment. Martin Parr's shots are often exaggerated, strange, shrill, colorful and sometimes grotesque. But in this view on the human being often lies the stunned, the desperate of a viewer, the world and especially the people who live in it, so unbridled, so distorted encounter. Relentless, but always paired with his typical English humor, he sheds the world in the most dazzling colors. Martin Parr takes his photos at favorite places of the people: the beach, the place of interest, the excursion destination. He is looking for places with extremes.




"Photographs by Martin Parr at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf. Quirky pictures, which are leaving you very thoughtful, sensitively curated by Ralph Goertz."

Stefan Lüddemann, Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung


Life's a beach, Knokke, Belgium 2001, © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos



At the beginning of his career in the 1970s, he documented the closer environment of his homeland in high-contrast black and white. In the early 1980s, he used increasingly color, changed his style and changed from his 35mm 35mm camera to the new Plaubel 6x7 medium format camera. His project The Last Resort, which began in 1982 and was first published in 1986, documenting British beach life in New Brighton, is today regarded as a milestone in photography and made him known internationally. For the first time in the history of photography, his touching as well as often disturbing images show the everyday life of the British seaside resort in a new way. He decodes the concept of beauty and questions the beautiful in the ugly and the ugly in the beautiful. Stylistically, he supports his question by the use of a flashlight, which he also uses in daylight.


The Last Resort, New Brighton, England 1983-85 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos


"When people are crying and laughing while looking at my pictures at the same time, that's exactly the same reaction the pictures evoke in me. Things are neither good nor bad. I'm always interested in representing both extremes."- Martin Parr


The Last Resort, New Brighton, England 1983-85 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos


Martin Parr, who has belonged to the exclusive circle of the agency Magnum Photo since 1994, is a master of the discovery of relationships and social clichés and structures, with which he, for example, emphasizes consumer behavior or the often obscene self-presentation of man with the stylistic device of exaggeration.


Think of England, Sedlescombe, England 1995-1999 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos


The retrospective exhibition at NRW Forum Düsseldorf is - with more than 400 works - the most comprehensive retrospective of the British star photographer and covers his work in all its facets. In addition to works from his famous series such as The last Resort, Think of England, Luxury, Life's a Beach and Common Sense, the exhibition in Dusseldorf presents for the first time also early works of his debut series Bad Weather.


"Rainy shots in black and white that originated in England and Ireland between 1975 and 1982. People's lives in bad weather. Brilliant."

Sara Krüger, Gloria v. Bronewski - WELT


Bad Weather, O'Connell Bridge, Dublin, Ireland, October 1981 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos



North Wing. Bad Weather


New series on German Allotment Gardeners


The Martin Parr retrospective not only shows the photographer as a satirist, but also focuses on the photographic skills and the contemporary use of the medium of photography. Especially for the exhibition in the NRW-Forum Dusseldorf, the series Allotment Gardeners, which Martin Parr photographed in the Dusseldorf area and in which he proves his class as a portrait photographer and chronicler.


"Carefully staged allotment gardeners in Duesseldorf."

Stefanie Stadel, kultur.west


GERMANY. Dusseldorf. KGV. Am Schwarzen Weg. Ursula and Wolfgang Opitz with dog Lina. 2018 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos


Martin Parr shooting at allotment "Am schwarzen Weg"


"With him we are all part of the human comedy, all of us constantly failing to live and giving a picture of misery, in which Parr finds the silent dignity of his art: to be at the right place, when our ridiculousness takes shape for eternity."

Michael Kohler, Kölner Stadtanzeiger



GERMANY. Dusseldorf. KGV. Am Schwarzen Weg. Christa Adams. 2018 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos


GERMANY. Dusseldorf. KGV. Am Schwarzen Weg. Tatyana Schulakova (left) and son Viktor Glasser. Natalie Erworth (centre) and Christina Shenk. 2018 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos



“It’s really moving to nd the care and attention people put to their gardens. I wanted to try to capture that spirit through my photographs.” - Martin Parr


Martin Parr shooting at allotment "Krefeled-Inrath"

"Making of photos":: Isabel Hernandez / Dirk Rose / Ralph Goertz © IKS-Medienarchiv



New book by Martin Parr Allotment Gardeners


In occasion to the exhibition "Martin Parr Retrospective" we did produce a catalogue on the series Allotment Gardeners.

Published by Koenig Books, London / Edited by Ralph Goertz, IKS - Institute for Art Documentation.

On sale at Walther König book shops, at NRW-Forum or via ISBN: 978-3-96098-657-7. Price is € 29,80,-.




Martin Parr and Ralph Goertz discussing the selection for the catalogue and the exhibition

Fotos: Louisa Reiners © IKS-Medienarchiv



Collectors box with exclusive Edition


In occasion of the retrospective at NRW-Forum, Martin Parr produced an exclusive Edition of 50 + 10 AP's (signed, numbered, 20,2 x 30,5cm photo / 22,8 x 34,3cm photo paper) with a collectors box in linen including the catalogue. The Moment Martin Parr made this shot at the allotment in Krefeld-Inrath he said: that's the Edition!


Here you can order your collerctors box. Price € 540,- excluding shipping.


GERMANY. Dusseldorf. GBV Krefeld-Inrath eV. 2018 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos


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