Printing ‘Peter Fraser’, Tate Monograph, at Castelli Bolis, Bergamo, Italy, 2012


Born 1953 Cardiff, Wales, Peter Fraser attended schools in Cardiff, Glamorgan and the Rhondda Valley. He acquired his first camera at the age of 7, and after a false start studying Civil Engineering, at 18, began studying photography at Manchester Polytechnic the following year. In the summer of 1974 he lived in New York and worked at the Laurel Photography Bookstore at 32nd St and 6th Avenue which significantly expanded his sense of photography’s expressive possibilities. He graduated in 1976 after repeating his 3rd year due to major illness crossing the Sahara, while photographing in West Africa.

Fraser lived in Holland and Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, before moving back to Manchester in 1981. He then began working with a Plaubel Makina camera in 1982 which led to an exhibition with William Eggleston at the Anolfini, Bristol in 1984, and a move to that city. In summer 1984 Fraser travelled to Memphis, USA to spend nearly two months with William Eggleston which confirmed for him the desire to commit his life to working with colour photography.’

He then worked on several series of photographs, leading to a first publication, Two Blue Buckets (which featured work from, 12 Day Journey, The Valleys Project, Everyday Icons and  Towards and Absolute Zero) which won the Bill Brandt Prize in London (the precursor of the CitiBank International Photography Prize), in 1988.

He moved to London in 1990, subsequently publishing several new bodies of work,  including Ice and Water 1993, Deep Blue 1997, Material 2002, and Peter Fraser (Nazraeli Press) 2006.

In 2002, The Photographers’ Gallery, London, staged a 20 year survey exhibition of Fraser’s work, and he was shortlisted for the Citigroup International Photography Prize in 2004. In 2006 he was invited to be an Artist in Residence at Oxford University, England and produced new work for permanent installation in their new Biochemistry building in 2008.

In 2009 Fraser was given a major commission by The Ffotogallery, Wales, to return to his country of birth, to make new work for a solo exhibition at the gallery, which opened in March 2010, with a new publication, Lost For Words.

In 2008 Fraser began working on A City In The Mind a new series of photographs in London, which was shown at Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery, London in May 2012 accompanied by a Steidl Publication.

From January to May 2013, Tate St Ives held a retrospective of Fraser’s career, the first Tate Retrospective for a living British Photographer, and Tate published a major monograph on the whole of Fraser’s career with a text by David Chandler. Tate purchased 10 works for their permanent collection from the Two Blue Buckets series in 2014.

In 2014 Fraser was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Photographic Society, UK.

In spring 2017 Peperoni Books, Berlin, published a new ‘Director’s Cut’ of Fraser’s 1988 publication Two Blue Buckets with 19 missing images from the original, and a new essay by Gerry Badger and a discussion between Fraser and David Campany.

From 1st June to 31st July 2017 Fraser’s exhibition Mathematics was exhibited at the Real Jardin de Botanico, Madrid, part of PhotoEspana 17 and Skinnerboox, Italy, published Mathematics with 52 colour plates, and essays by Mark Durden, David Campany and an afterword by Fraser.

The first UK exhibition of Mathematics opened at Camden Arts Centre, London on the 5th July, and ran to 16th September 2018. The accompanying File Note no 120 published by the gallery, featured a specially commissioned essay The Things That Count by Amy Sherlock, Deputy Editor of Frieze.

In March 2021 Fraser received a Pollock Krasner Foundation Award, NY, to support the production of new work in the UK and across Europe in the time of Covid-19 ‘paying subtle attention to atmosphere and nuance, quietly reflecting on manifestations of our responses to the enormous changes taking place across the human landscape’.

In 2022 Fraser self published ‘Peter Fraser The Arnolfini Works 1984’ which features the 22 works which Fraser showed along with a selection of William Eggleston Dye Transfers at Arnolfini, Bristol, UK, in that year. These works had not been seen or published since 1984. The clothbound hardback was released in an edition of 15, and includes a conversation with Ann Gallagher OBE, who was Director of Collections, British Art at Tate, and curated many exhibitions at Tate Britain including Rachel Whiteread (2017) and Susan Hiller(2011), and Damien Hirst (2012) and Helio Oiticica (2007) at Tate Modern. Venice Biennale exhibitions include Mark Wallinger (2001) and Rachel Whitread (1997) at the British Pavilion.

One-person Exhibitions
2019Whatness, curated by Die Plek, CBR building, Boitsfort, Brussels
2018Mathematics, Camden Arts Centre, London.
2017Mathematics, Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid, PhotoEspana
2013Peter Fraser, Tate St Ives.
2012A City in the Mind, Brancolini Grimaldi, London.
2010Lost for Words, Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Wales.
2003The Inconsiderable Things, University of Brighton Gallery, England.
2002Peter Fraser, The Photographers’ Gallery, London.
1999Peter Fraser, Gallerie 213, Paris, France.
1997-1998Deep Blue, Viewpoint Gallery, Salford; Ffotogallery, Cardiff; Cambridge Darkroom, Tullie House, Carlisle.
1996Deep Blue, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.
1995Ice and Water, St Louis Museum of Art, Missouri, USA.
1994Ice and Water, James Hockey Gallery, Farnham, England.
1993Ice and Water, Cornerhouse, Manchester, England.
1989Triptychs, Interim Art, London, England.
1988Towards an Absolute Zero, Watershed, Bristol, England; Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth, England; Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Wales.
1987Spectrum Galerie, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany.
1986Everyday Icons, Photographers Gallery, London; Photo Gallery Hippolyte, Helsinki; toured the United Kingdom.
198512 Day Journey, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, England; Axiom, Cheltenham, England.
1984New Colour, Oldham Art Gallery, Oldham, England; Arnolfini, Bristol, England.
1983New Colour, The Photographer’s Corridor, University of Wales, Cardiff.
1982The Flower Bridge, Impressions Gallery, York, England.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2022'A Visual Alphabet of Industry, Work and Technology', Fondazione MAST, Bologna, Italy.
2017'The Photographic I - Other Pictures', S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art, Gent, Belgium.
2016'Transiciones', works from the 'Motelay Collection', Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.
'Night in the Museum', curated by Ryan Gander, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK, travelling to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and The Attenborough Centre, Leicester.
2015'Industry Now- Contemporary Photography from the Collection', MAST FOUNDATION, Bologna, Italy
2014'Industrial Worlds 014', MAST FOUNDATION, Bologna, Italy
2013'Industrial Worlds 013', MAST FOUNDATION, Bologna, Italy
2012'Observers: Photographers of the British Scene from the 1930's to Now', British Council Exhibition, SESI-SP, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
'Island Stories: Fifty Years of Photography in Britain', Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
'Intersections-Science in Contemporary Art', Weitzmann Institute of Science, Tel Aviv.
2008‘Troubled Waters’, 12 Still Lives from the Siemens Photography Collection, Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Germany,
'No Such Thing As Society’, Photography in Britain 1967-1987, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales, Tulie House, Carlisle, and Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujadowski Castle, Warsaw
‘I Hate Green’, Ffotogallery Commissions in Wales – Part 1, Turner House Gallery, Penarth, Wales.
2006Patrick de Brock, gallery artists show, Knokke, Belgium.
2005‘Funky Lessons’, BAWAG Foundation, Vienna, Austria,
2004Citigroup Photography Prize 2004, Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf, Germany.
Citigroup Photography Prize 2004, The Photographers’ Gallery, London.
2003'Jede Fotografie ein Bild', Seimens Collection, Pinokothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany.
2001'Nothing', Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, travelling to the Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania, and the Rooseum, Malmo, Sweden.
1998Summer Show, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.
1994'Institute of Cultural Anxiety: Works from the Collection', ICA, London.
1993Patrick de Brock, Antwerp, Belgium.
1992'Mehr Als Ein Bild', Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany.
1991Pamela Golden, Marcus Hansen, Peter Fraser, Interim Art, London.
Curt Marcus Invitational, Curt Marcus Gallery, New York, USA.
1990Interim Art, London.
1989Foto Biennale Enschede, Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede, Holland.
Through The Looking Glass, Barbican Art Gallery, London.
Photo-Sculpture, Watershed, Bristol, England.
Recent Acquisitions, Hayward Gallery, London
1988'A British View', Museum for Gestaltung, Zurich.
'Towards a Bigger Picture', Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
1987'Inscriptions and Incidents', A British Council Exhibition, P.R.O.K.A, Ghent, Belgium, toured to Luxembourg, Italy and Germany.
Sun Life Photography Awards, National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford, England.
1986'I Hate Green', The Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Wales.
'New British Documentary', Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
'The Animal Show', Photographers Gallery, London.
'50 Years of Modern Colour Photography', Photokina, Cologne, Germany.
1985'A Sense of Place', Interim Art, London.
'Image and Exploration', Photographers Gallery, London.
'Axiom Review', Axiom, Cheltenham, England.
'Young European Photographers', Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany.
Selected Catalogues and Publications
2017'Two Blue Buckets', 'Directors Cut', Peperoni Press, Germany.
'Mathematics', published by Skinnerboox, Italy.
2016'Mathematics', self published Limited Edition Digital book, London.
2013‘Peter Fraser’, Full career Monograph, Tate Publishing, London UK.
2012 ‘A City in the Mind’, published by Steidl/ Brancolini Grimaldi.
2010‘Lost for Words’, book published by Ffotogallery, Cardiff.
2006‘Peter Fraser’, book published by Nazraeli Press, USA ‘Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography’, Phaidon, London.
2004‘Citigroup International Photography Prize’, catalogue published by The Photographers’ Gallery, London.
2002‘Material’, book published by Steidl Verlag, Germany.
2002‘PETER FRASER’, book published by the Photographers’ Gallery, supported by the Arts Council of England.
2001‘Nothing’, book published by August and Northern Gallery For Contemporary Art, Sunderland, England.
1999‘Peter Fraser’, Galerie 213 exhibition catalogue, published by Galerie 213, Paris.
1997‘Deep Blue’, published by Viewpoint Photography Gallery, Salford; Ffotogallery, Cardiff; Tulli House, Carlisle; and Cambridge Darkroom Gallery, England.
1995‘Currents 63’, Ice and Water exhibition brochure published by St. Louis Art Museum, text by Olivia Lahs-Gonzales.
1993‘An Uncertain Exchange’, Jeremy Millar, for Ice and Water catalogue published by James Hockey Gallery, Farnham and Cornerhouse, Manchester, England.
1988‘Towards an Absolute Zero’, Rupert Martin, catalogue published by Zero Press, Bristol.
‘Two Blue Buckets’, Rupert Martin, published by Cornerhouse, Manchester.
Select Bibliography
2022Gerry Badger, 'Another Country; British Documentary Photography since 1945', Thames and Hudson, London; pp. 176, 193.
2019Tim Clark, 'Walls come tumbling down', British Journal of Photography, September 2019, pp. 89-92
Thomas Peeters, 'Stillevens op de directieverdieping', De Tijd, Brussels, pp. 53
Heleen Rodiers, 'The meaning of life, according to Peter Fraser', Bruzz Magazine, Brussels, 13-19 September 2019, pp. 14-15
Guy Duplat, 'Expo au 7th cel, dans l'iconique batiment CBR', La Libre Belgique, pp.45
2018Amy Sherlock, 'The Things That Count', Camden Arts Centre, London, File Notes, no 120.
Patrick Langley, 'Mathematics', Camden Arts Centre, ArtReview Magazine, October 2018, pp. 99
Meer, online Magazine, 'Peter Fraser' Mathematics at Camden Arts Centre, 2 August 2018,
2017Sean O'Hagan, 'Everyday Revelations', Observer Newspaper, London,The New Review, 2nd April 2017, pp. 38

Marina Spunta, 'The Unseen Places', Financial Times Weekend Magazine, 6th May 2017, pp. 26-30

Minus Plato, 'You're really not going to like it: Peter Fraser's "Mathematics" for the Impatient', Blog on 2nd June 2017

Snapshot: 'Mathematics' by Peter Fraser, Photography, Financial Times, 2nd June 2017

Gloria Crespo MacLennan, 'Mathematics is the code that envelopes everything', El Pais, Madrid, 22 June 2017, online at

Adam Bell, 'Two Blue Buckets', Photo-Eye Blog, New York, 15th June 2017,

Paul Lowe, '1001 Photographs you must see before you die', publisher, CasselI llustrated, "Peter Fraser, Cheddar No5", pp649

Simon Bowcock, 'Down to Earth - A revaluation of British colour photography', Photomonitor, Essays, July 2017

'Renewed Blue Buckets', Annual Photographer's Lecture 2016, pp.12-17, and 'Mathematics' pp.18-23, Scottish Society for the History of Photography, Summer 2017 publication, Glasgow.

Jeremy Millar, 'Mathematics', 1000 Words Blog, Issue 26 October 2017
2016'Masterworks of Industrial photography', Exhibitions 2015 Mast Foundation, Mast.Electra, Bologna, pp.442-443
Ryan Gander, 'Night in the Museum', Hayward Publishing, London, pp,78
Alexis Fabry and Maria Wills, 'Transiciones', La Fabrica, Madrid, and Toluca Editions, Paris, pp,22, 23, 142,148.
Paul Lowe, 'Photography Masterclass', Thames and Hudson, London, pp,106, 107
John McLean, 'Hometowns', Hunter and James, London, pp multiple, un-numbered.
2015Simonetta Ferrini, 'Peter Fraser - A City in the Mind', 'Making Them Visible', Florence University of the Arts, pp.45-50
Rosa Olivares, 'Peter Fraser, Material', Exit Magazine, Madrid, No 58, pp.70-77
2014Mark Durden, ’Peter Fraser’, Photography Today, Phaidon Press, 2014, pp. 126-129.
Blind Spot, 20th Anniversary Issue, No 47, pp. 99
Phil Coomes, 'Photography Today', BBC News, 4th June,
Stephen Clarke, 'Peter Fraser: The photographer filling a gap', The Art Newspaper, 1st April 2014.
2013David Chandler, 'Peter Fraser, Photographs 1981-2012’ monograph, Tate Publishing 2013.
John Burnside, Tate Etc, Issue 27, 2013, ‘A Liberation From the Ordinary’.
Sophie Kazan, 'Peter Fraser at Tate St Ives', Aesthetica Magazine, 8th February, 2013
2012Adam Bell, ‘ A City in the Mind’, Photoeye, New York, blog 5th November, 2012.
Diane Smyth, British Journal of Photography IPad edition, July 2012, The Secret Life of Objects British Journal of Photography, July 2012, Pick of Top 12 Shows to see this Summer Daily Telegraph, Q & A, 24 May, 2012
Sarah Philips, The Guardian, 14 June 2012, My Best Shot
Nicole degli Innocenti, Il Sole 24 Ore, 7 June 2012, La citta delle mente Ăš a LondraIndependent on Sunday, 1 July 2012, Photo book review
Amy Dawson, Metro, 4 July 2012, Photo book review
La Lettre de la Photographie, 8 June 2012, Exhibition preview
Independent Magazine, 26 May 2012, In the Frame
2010Jeffery Ladd, 5B4 Blogspot, June 25, 2010, ‘Lost For Words by Peter Fraser’,
Alex Coles, ‘Architecture with Art in Mind’, Salt Bridges, Prestel Publishing Ltd, pp120 text, and pp88-113 images.
2009At The Ruskin’, Oxford Poetry magazine, Magdalen College, Oxford University, Spring 2009, Vol.X111no1, pp 31>32 text, and 4 page colour insert.
Jay Merick, Independent Newspaper, London, 9th March 2009, ‘How does architecture affect academic study?’, Higher Education News,
Peter Fraser, ‘Oxford University Residency’, Photoworks Magazine, Brighton, UK, Spring/Summer 2009, pp 28-37.
2008‘Máquinas’ (Machines), EXIT Magazine, Madrid, Issue 31, cover and pp. 130-137.
‘Troubled Waters’, 12 Still Lives from the Siemens Photography Collection, Walther König, Köln, Germany, cover and pp. 76-79.
‘No Such Thing as Society’, Photography in Britain 1967-1987, Professor David Mellor (author), Hayward Publishing, pp. 127-131, 133-135, 146.
2007Gerry Badger, ‘The Genius of Photography, Quadrille Publishing, London. pp. 212.
David Chandler, ‘Peter Fraser’, Photoworks Magazine, Brighton, England. May/October 2007, p74.
Aaron Rothman, ‘Peter Fraser’, Photo Eye Booklist, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Spring 2007, pp. 20-22.
Edgar Allen Beem, ‘Close Encounters With The Overlooked’, Photo District News, New York, July 2007, pp 82-86.
2004Charlotte Cotton, ‘The Photograph As Contemporary Art’, Thames and Hudson, pp. 126-127.
Heinz-Norbert Jooks, ‘Citigroup Photography Prize Exhibition’, Kunstforum 171, July/August 2004, pg 326.
Michael Bracewell, ‘Peter Fraser photographs 2002-2003’, Portfolio Magazine, no 39, pp. 8 -13.
Ian Jeffery, ‘Review Citigroup Prize’, Photoworks Magazine, Spring / Summer 2004, pp 54-57.
Interview with Rachel Withers, ‘Peter Fraser Material’, FOAM Magazine, Issue 5 ‘Near’, pp. 99-117.
Johanna Burton, ‘Tiny Jubilations’, Citigroup Photography Prize 2004, published by The Photographers’ Gallery, pp38-39.
Oliver Bennett, ‘Out of the Ordinary’, Design Week, 8 January.
Adrian Searle, ‘Smashing Pumpkins’, The Guardian, 29 January.
Ben Lewis, ‘Photography Triumphant’, Prospect, February.
Sean O’Hagan, ‘Drive to the Edge’, The Observer, 1 February.
Sarah Kent, ‘Citigroup Photography Prize’, Time Out, 18 February.
2003Johanna Burton, ‘A Few Dumb Ideas On Peter Fraser and Rachel Harrison’, Brighton Photo Biennial 2003 Publication (with Photoworks), pp. 10- 13.
2002Gerry Badger, ‘Peter Fraser Material’, Next Level, Edition 02, Vol 01, pp. 42-29.
Paul Tebbs, ‘Technological Confectionary’, Source, Issue 32, Autumn 2002, pp. 52-53.
Geraldine Haigh, ‘Chromatically Correct’, Professional Photographer, August 2002, pp. 45-48.
1999Sleazenation, January 1999, pp. 48-57.
1998David Mellor, ‘British Photography: Towards A Bigger Picture’, Aperture Magazine, New York, pp. 57-61.
1995Robert Duffy, ‘Fraser’s Different Focus’, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 20 August.
1994Ian Jeffrey, ‘Peter Fraser’, Untitled Magazine, Spring; p. 17.
1993Mark Durden, ‘Ice and Water’, Creative Camera, Dec; p. 42.
1989David Mellor, ‘Coincidenta Oppositorum’, Exhibition sheet, Interim Art, London.
Sue Hubbard, ‘Peter Fraser – Triptychs’, Time Out, 26 July.
Mary-Rose Beaumont, ‘Peter Fraser’, Arts Review, 28 July; p. 42.
1988Ian Jeffery, ‘British Photography Flourishes’, Camera Austria, No 25, pp. 58-61.
Ian Jeffrey, ‘Unrepentant Roses’, Creative Camera, December; p. 34.
David Mellor, ‘Romances of Decay’, Aperture, New York, Autumn, p 34.
1987Ian Jeffery, ‘Inscriptions and Inventions’, British Council Catalogue; pp. 14 -15.
1986William Bishop, ‘Photographs by Peter Fraser’, Creative Camera, May; pp. 18-25.
Susan Beardmore, ‘I hate Green’, Valleys Catalogue, Ffotogallery, Cardiff.
Arts Council of England, London
BlackRock Art Collection, London
Contemporary Art Society, London
Fotografie Forum, Frankfurt, Germany
Foundation A Stichting, Bruxelles.
HTV, Bristol, England
Joy of Giving Something Collection, New York
Manchester City Art Gallery, England, UK
Mast Foundation, Bologna, Italy
Morgan Stanley, London
North West Arts Association, England
Oldham Art Gallery, England
Royal Photographic Society Collection, Bradford, UK
Siemens Collection, Munich, Germany
St. Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Sun Life Collection, National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford, England
Tate, London
The Arthur Andersen Art Collection, London
The British Council, London
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Washington University Art Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Worldwide Private Collections