Writer, curator and critic in the visual arts, particularly photography.
Born in Montreal in 1950, Robert Graham studied at McGill University, where he received an M.A. in Communication Studies. Since 1980, he has written on photography for art magazines and institutions, such as Parachute, Ciel variable, and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, bringing his particular communications education to a variety of artistic and non-artistic photographic activity. For Le Mois de la Photo a Montreal in 2001, he curated an exhibition entitled Picture This! Documenting the Future, based on the way in which photography can be used to illustrate yet unmet aspirations. He has served on the administrative boards of Parachute magazine (1985-1991) and Dazibao arts centre (1999-2004). Married to Sharon Sparling, father to three children, grandfather.

Écrivain, commissaire et critique en arts visuels, en particulier en photographie.
Né à Montréal en 1950, Robert Graham a étudié à l’Université McGill, où il a obtenu une maîtrise en communication. Depuis 1980, il a écrit sur la photographie pour des magazines d’art et des institutions telles que Parachute, Ciel variable et le Musée canadien de la photographie contemporaine, mettant sa formation particulière en communication au service d’une variété d’activités photographiques artistiques et non artistiques. Pour Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal en 2001, il a été commissaire d’une exposition intitulée Picture This! Documenting the Future, basée sur la façon dont la photographie peut être utilisée pour illustrer des aspirations encore non réalisées. Il a siégé aux conseils d’administration du magazine Parachute (1985-1991) et du centre d’art actuel Dazibao (1999-2004). Marié à Sharon Sparling, père de trois enfants, grand-père.


© Donigan Cumming, Flight 2, 2020


1989 – Master of Arts (Dean’s Honour List) in Communications, McGill University. Thesis title: Understanding artscanada: History, Practice and Idea.

1973 – Bachelor of Arts (cum laude), McGill University.


1994-2002 – Tandem Financial, Montréal, Que.
Sales representative in mutual fund firm.

1992-1994 – Concordia University, Montréal, Que.
Lecturer on Photography Criticism in Master of Fine Arts Program.

1984-2002 – Estate & Benefit Co-Ordinators Ltd., Montréal, Que.
Sales representative and partner in insurance brokerage firm.

1982-1984 – Sun Life of Canada, Montréal, Que.
Life insurance agent.

1980-1981 – Theo Waddington, Inc., Montréal, Que.
Salesman in art gallery.

1977 – McGill University, Montréal, Que.
Teaching assistant, sociology department.

1974-1975 – Coopers & Lybrand, Montréal, Que.
Trainee accountant.


1993 – Canada Council ‘B’ grant (Critics and Curators).

1986 – Canada Council ‘B’ grant (Critics and Curators).

Other Offices

Since 2020 – Festival Bloomsday, Montréal, Que.

Since 2017 – Department of Art History and Communications Studies, McGill University, Montréal, Que.
Affiliate member.

Since 2012 – Jintronix Inc., Montréal, Que.
A director.

1999 – 2004 – Dazibao Arts Centre, Montréal, Que.
A director.

1991-1993 – Narnia Day Care Centre, Westmount, Que
President and a director.

1985-1991 – Parachute magazine, Montréal, Que.
Vice-president and a director.

Since 1984 – Sumarria Inc., Toronto, Ont.
A director.

Quebec Writers’ Federation.



1980 – Colour Works in Parachute #18, Spring 1980.

1981 – Points of View: Photographs of Architecture, in Parachute #23, Summer 1981.

1982 – The battle of the buildings continues, review of Building with Words: Canadian Architects on Architecture and Seven Stones: A Portrait of Arthur Erickson, Architect, in The Gazette, (Montréal), March 6, 1982.

1983 – Sorel Cohen in Vanguard, Vol. 12, No. 4, May 1983.

1984 – David Bolduc/E(x)changes/Chromazone in Parachute #35, June/July/August 1984.

1984 – Reflections: Contemporary Art Since 1964 at the National Gallery of Canada in Parachute #36, September/October/November 1984.

1985 – Aurora Borealis in C #7, Fall 1985.

1986 – Contemporary Canadian Photography in Parachute #42, March/April/May 1986.

1988 – Bill C-54 in Parachute #50, March/April/May 1988.

1991 – Reconstructing Modernism: Art in New York, Paris and Montréal 1945-1964 in Parachute #62, April/May/June 1991.

1994 – Annie Liebovitz: Squint for effect, in The Downtown Experience (Montréal), March 24, 1994.

2000 – Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal 1999, in MUSE, Vol. XVII, #4, February 2000.

2014 – War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath, in RACAR Vol. XXXIX, No. 2, 2014.


1981 – Tom Gibson – Among the Naturalists in Parachute #22, Spring 1981.

1984 – Donigan Cumming: undoing documentary in Parachute #34, March/April/May 1984.

1984 – Ceci Tuera Cela: The Fate of a Notion in Parachute #36, September/October/November 1984.

1985 – Ritual and Camera in Parachute #39, June/July/August 1985.

1985 – Fashion, Envy & the Gift in Parachute #40, September/October/November 1985.

1986 – Observations of (and from) Contemporary Landscape in Parachute #44, September/October/November 1986.

1989 – The Canadian Centre for Architecture: Phyllis Lambert’s magnum opus: expanding categories, moving boundaries in Parachute #54, March/April/May/June 1989.

1998 – Disability Without Tears: The Neutralization of the Grotesque in exposure, Vol. 31, #3/4, Spring 1998.

1999 – Architecture Without Walls: Notes on the Home and Office, Atelier in situ and Discreet Logic in Parachute #96, October/November/December 1999.

2000 – De villes en déserts: Alain Chagnon’s Recent Road Work , in CV Photo #51, Summer 2000.

2001 – Under a Campeau Blue Sky, in CV Photo #54, Spring 2001. Catalogue Essays

1986 – Documentary and the Powers of Description in Donigan Cumming, Reality and Motive in Documentary Photography, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.

1986 – Veiled Relations: The Fabric of Sorel Cohen’s Work in Sorel Cohen, …et les ateliers de femmes (ou se jouent les regards), Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

1989 – Regions of Photography and War, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal.

1991 – Here & Elsewhere: Canadian Photographers of Latin America, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal.

1999 – Diplomatics: the Course of Documents, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal.

2001 – Undue Influence: Photography’s Powers, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal.

2001 – Picture This! Documenting the Future, Dazibao, Montréal, Que.

2001 – What Are You Looking At?, VOX #11, Montréal, Que., Autumn 2001.

2003 – The Immediacy of War Pictures: Fugitive Images and “the Soda-Straw Effect”, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal.

2005 – Seeing to Care: Roger Lemoyne Photographs 1995-2003 in Roger Lemoyne, Détails Obscurs, Les editions 400 coups, Montréal, Que.

2006 – Claude-Philippe Benoit’s Survivals, AXENÉO7 Artists’ Centre, Gatineau, Que.

2007 – Animal/Vegetable/Mineral: Michel Campeau’s Acts of Succession in Michel Campeau, Territoires et paysages métaphysiques, Les editions 400 coups, Montréal, Que.

2013 – Gabor Szilasi in Promenades Photographique, Vendôme, France.

2018 – World Line: Bill Vazan’s Spherical Geosophy, in Bill Vazan: All Over La Planete, VOX, Montréal, Que.

2021 – Three Montréal Photographers, Visual Arts Centre, Westmount, Que., (forthcoming).

Anthology Essays

1990 – Here’s Me! or The Subject in the Picture in Thirteen Essays on Photography, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa, Ont.

Conference Papers

1984 – Discussions: art and criticism in the eighties, March 16-18, 1984, Toronto, Ont.

2001 – Lecture on Picture This! exhibition at Dazibao, September 22, 2001, Montréal, Que.

2003 – Paper on ‘Combat Photography’ at symposium for Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, Canadian Centre for Architecture, September 19, 2003, Montréal, Que.

2006 – “Thief” – Michael Mann’s Human Geography Lesson, paper presented on May 29, 2006 at annual Film Studies Association of Canada meeting during Humanities and Social Sciences Congress at York University, Toronto, Ont.

2007 – Imagined Geographies: Artists and Maps, paper delivered at roundtable discussion on January 18, 2007 at Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montréal, Que.

2017 – Introducing Graphic Medicine: Care and Comics, Second International Congress on Whole Person Care, October 13, 2017, Montréal, Que.


In preparation – The Message of the Bottle: Some Significations of Wine.


2018 – The Parthenon of (Forbidden) Books – www.bloomsdaymontreal.com.

Curated Exhibitions

2001 – Picture This! Documenting the Future, at Dazibao, Montréal, Que., September, 2001.

2021 – Three Montréal Photographers+: Tom Gibson, Donigan Cumming and Michel Campeau, Visual Arts Centre, Westmount, Que., May 2021.