Graham Little

Graham Little (b. Dundee, UK, 1972) studied at Goldsmiths College, London, MA (1997); Research Associate (1998).

Graham Little blends Romanticism and Postmodernism in his intricately detailed gouache and colored pencil drawings, in which he revels in the textures, patterns, and composition of fashion advertisements, while simultaneously re-positioning his subjects as emotionally complex protagonists.

Little’s process is time-consuming and meticulous, he works for months on an individual painting, constructing richly textured scenes, interior and exterior tableaus referencing histories of visual representation from a range of archival imagery. Sourcing images from iconic fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, dating from the mid-1970s to now, the works combine elements from the past and present to create enigmatic and ambiguous scenes woven with quiet narrative and emotion.

Little’s oblique, nostalgic yearnings bring elements of drama, intrigue and sobriety into scenes rendered through a soft-focus lens. The iconography of his paintings allows narrative reading through a collection of carefully composed symbols, all as important as each other. At once improbable and realistic, they are vehicles for his virtuosity and imbued with individuality and agency. Initial readings fragment and Little entices us to pause and stare at a rare moment of slowness, an open invitation to our perceptions in a world of accelerated information and hurried daily interaction.

Recent museum exhibitions include: Doing Identity. Die Sammlung Reydan Weiss, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum (2017); a curated presentation in Mark Leckey: Containers and Their Drivers, MoMA PS1, New York (2016); Less is a Bore. Reflections on Memphis, KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf (2016); Manifesta 11, Zürich (2016); and I Prefer Life, Weserburg Museum of Modern Art, Bremen (2016).

Museum acquisitions include: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Museum of Modern Art, New York.

[Alison Jacques Gallery]