°1972, Dundee (UK) – lives and works in London (UK)
The work of Graham Little situates solitary figures within intricately designed interior spaces. His meticulously built compositions revel in the texture, pattern and choreography of fashion advertising, while alluding to the aesthetic sensibilities and compositional strategies of Modernist figuration and the Old Masters. But while Little’s interest in perceived beauty (or the construction thereof) cannot be underplayed, his domestic chambers are often characterised by the psychological blemishes that beauty cannot mask: distraction, disinterest and distance; emptiness cloaked in aesthetic sheen.
The majority of Little’s sitters are young women and men sourced from 1980s issues of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and, most frequently, the German style magazine Burda Moden. In stark contrast to the dominant mode of contemporary fashion photography, in which femininity is framed as hyper-sexualised and highly unattainable, these early editorials eschew flirtation and allure in favour of markedly mundane situations.
Untitled (Wood), 2019
Untitled (Two Vases), 2020
Untitled (Reclining), 2020
Untitled (Mountain), 2021
Untitled (Ladder), 2021
Untitled (Garden), 2021
Untitled (Boutique), 2019
Little’s work is a slow and considered attempt to process this beauty. (Individual works often take years to complete.) It is a protracted negotiation of the relationship between the seer and the seen, one that indulges in aesthetics while remaining cautious of their appeal. As tender as they are tentative, as intimate as they are unattainable, Little’s painted vignettes are calculated attempts to resolve this dichotomy via a momentary embodiment of it. ‘I think the work allows me to process the difficulty of beauty’, Little notes, ‘along with the unease of being masculine’.
(courtesy of Alison Jacques Gallery)
Exhibitions include Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo; Camden Arts Centre, London; The Flag Art Foundation, New York; Hayward Gallery, London; Victoria & Albert, Dundee; Somerset House, London; Kunstmuseum Bochum; KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation, Dusseldorf; Museum of Modern Art, Bremen; and MoMA PS1, New York.
Graham Little is represented by the following gallery;
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