Past Exhibition

David Hurn’s Swaps at The Photography Show

Martin Parr curates a selection of David Hurn's print collection for an exhibit in Birmingham

David Hurn A game of pushball. Two teams try to push a large inflated ball over the opposition's goal line. Taking place at the Young Farmers' meeting. Brecon, Wales. 1973 © David Hurn | Magnum Photos

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Magnum Photos, and to celebrate the community of photographers of which he is a part, Magnum Photographer Martin Parr curated a selection of the print swaps from which David Hurn has built an extraordinary collection.

“In 1958, a chance encounter in Trafalgar Square affected my future life. I was photographing the pigeons. Another photographer, Sergio Larrain, was doing the same. We became close friends and he, later, gave me as a present, my first collectible prints.” – David Hurn

David Hurn Wild pony colt. Cold tourists in the rain in the background. Brecon Beacons. Wales. 1974. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn Young girl full of joy after having had her Confirmation service. London. England. GB. 1967. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos

“It is very apparent that Hurn has a fine eye for photography. Every one of the images he has selected is a winner. The images range across the many genres of photography, across the broad spectrum of Magnum photographers.” Martin Parr

With a career spanning over six decades, Hurn, like Parr, is also a connoisseur and patron of documentary photography. Over the years he has amassed more than 600 prints, from the 19th century to the present. Last year, the entire collection was gifted to the National Museum Wales, where in September an inaugural exhibition marked the opening of the Museum’s first permanent gallery dedicated to photography.


Bieke Depoorter I AM ABOUT TO CALL IT A DAY. Bieke Depoorter. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Carolyn Drake Swimming pool in Mary, an ancient oasis city in the Karakum desert that was expanded in Soviet times as a centre for cotton and natural gas production. Mary, Turkmenistan. 2009. © Carolyn Drake | Magnum Photos

Parr’s selection spans Bill Brandt through to Diana Markosian and begins with a group of images by colleagues, such as Sergio Larrain and Bruce Davidson, whose work was to influence Hurn’s own practice. We then move into a playful presentation in which images have been paired or grouped into larger relationships around a key Hurn image.

More info about The Photography Show here.

Diana Markosian Chechen dancers before a performance in Grozny. Chechnya. 2011. © Diana Markosian | Magnum Photos
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