In Black & White: Martin Parr & Tony Ray-Jones

An exhibition from 26 august to 20 november 2021

The gallery presents In Black & White: Martin Parr & Tony Ray-Jones, an exhibition dedicated to two emblematic figures of British photography. At the threshold between art and photojournalism, their black and white works have widely contributed to the evolution of photography in the United Kingdom from the end of the 60’s to the beginning of the 80’s.

The concordance between Tony Ray-Jones’ and Martin Parr’s visions is no coincidence: although the pair never met, Parr’s discovery of Ray-Jones’ work in 1971 was, according to him, one of the most defining moments of his own career. As a first-year photography student at Manchester Polytechnic, he admired Ray-Jones’ ability to build complex compositions in a distinctly British setting. In 1975, Parr moved to Hebden Bridge, northeast of Manchester. Over five years, he documented the lives of the residents of this small industrial town in Yorkshire. Now mainly known for his vibrant color work, Parr then began this early project in black and white, which already demonstrated a composed and impertinent gaze.

On the other hand, after photographing the United States in colour, Tony Ray-Jones picked up black and white film again in 1966, upon his return to England. In an interview, he claimed that compared to Madison Avenue, everything in England seemed so grey. Inspired by the energy of the photographers he had befriended in New York, he travelled through many small towns and villages in -, with a particular interest in the coast and its seaside resorts. He steeped his gaze into English customs, habits and leisure, covering local fairs, beauty contests and beaches, spaces where the rituals of the ordinary unfold. His subjects and their interactions overlapped in eccentric but sophisticated compositions, punctuated with a playfulness later to be found in Martin Parr’s work.

From August 26th to November 20th 2021, In Black & White highlights the connection between these two photographers who continue to exert a major influence on British and international photography today.

This exhibition consists of vintage and modern prints by both artists.


To mark the exhibition In Black and White: Martin Parr & Tony Ray-Jones at the gallery,  the Maison CF puts Martin Parr in the spotlight.

The bookshop turns into a pop-up store in partnership with the Martin Parr Foundation, proposing items derived from the photographer and an exhibition of colour prints.