Chris Killip Photographer

Killip's work is widely praised as the most acute depiction of the human cost to Britain's process of de-industrialization. The Twenty-four images in this exhibition, from 1974-88, are primarily from the North of England and cover the tenure of four very different Prime Ministers: Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Jim Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher.
"The term 'poetic document' to describe Killip's work has perhaps never been more apt, for as Ian Jeffry has written, Killip would seem to be no programmed sociologist, nor even much of a social observer. He is, rather, suggests Jeffry, a storyteller, concerned primarily with the fabric of things, of life lodged in matter. However his sense of one is completed only by a sense of the other." (Gerry Badger, The Photobook, Vol 2)

"It's hard to believe that this great British photographer is only now having his first solo exhibition in the U.S. Like Bill Brandt and Martin Parr, Killip casts a sharp, unsentimental eye on his fellow-citizens and their environment. The photographs here, made mostly in England's bleak northern cities between 1974 and 1988, when more and more people were out of work, are among his toughest and most affecting. Never operatic, Killip is a master of ordinary despair: amid a flurry of windblown trash, a man in an overcoat stands facing a brick wall chalked with a tiny bit of graffiti proclaiming "true love."" -Vince Aletti, The New Yorker, October 18

"Chris Killip's photography revisits some of the most iconic images of the north from that time. These pictures can now be seen at New York's Amador Gallery, his first commercial show in America. Mr Killip went to live in Newcastle in 1975 upon receiving a two-year fellowship from Northern Gas. There he began his now famous documentation of communities directly affected by Thatcher's programmes for a post-industrial society. These photos and the book they appear in, "In Flagrante"—hailed as the most important book of English photography from the 1980s—are both politically critical and self-consciously artful. As Gary Badger writes in an essay in the newly reissued "In Flagrante", these pictures are refreshingly unsentimental. Mercifully, they are quite unlike the work that inspired Max Kozloff to quip, "Nothing is more typical of so-called concerned photography than the brutality of its compassion."" -The Economist Online, November 10 (full text)

"Almost all of them are of Newcastle and environs, in the north of England — places about as far as you can get from "Masterpiece Theatre'' or the Royal Family and not be in the North Sea. Instead of picturesque local color, you see barbed wire and threadbare overcoats, public housing and playgrounds in the shadows of smokestacks. Most of all you see — you notice — faces: unvanquished, though anything but triumphant." -Mark Feeney, The Boston Globe, November 30 (full text)

dlkcollection review October 12th



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