Chris Killip - PHOTOGRAPHS London Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Exhibited

    London, Serpetine Gallery, Another country: Photographs of the North East of England by Chris Killip and Graham Smith, 31 August - 29 September 1985 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    J. Berger and S. Grant, In Flagrante, London: Secker & Warburg, 1988, pp. 10-11

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the 1970s and 1980s Chris Killip photographed in the North of East of England, documenting the social and political landscape of the time, and singling out subjects which have subsequently become symbolic of an era - the effects of de-industrialisation, the onset of Thatcherism, and the strength of human optimism in the face of hardship and adversity.
    This youth's tightly-wound body and his expression of frustration receive full aperture in Killip's medium format composition. The camera becomes a microscope for a slice of life shown to us without sympathy for the discomfort of the witness; should we offer comfort to the subject, or stand for a moment in his abrasive world? It is a sensibility not dissimilar to that explored by the great Dave Heath in his photo essay 'A Dialogue of Solitude' - the feeling that fellowman is disposable, a lack of empathy for other people considered to exist in parallel but not in tune with our own lives. The slogan 'Our Green and Pleasant Land' is deftly spat upon by Killip's images, which favour the proud and the strong over the romantic.
    This image, among others, culminated in Killip's 1988 book 'In Flagrante', which has become one of the most sought after, admired and collected photo books of recent times. The photographs were also shown at London's Serpentine Gallery in 1985 as part of the exhibition 'Another Country', alongside works by another notable photographer of Killip's generation, Graham Smith.
    Chris Killip was a founder member of the Side Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in the early 1970s, and was Director there between 1977-79. He has received numerous awards, including the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award for the body of work 'In Flagrante', and has been the Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University since 1994.


Youth on Wall, Yarrow, Tyneside

Gelatin silver print, printed 2007.
38.1 x 47 cm (15 x 18 1/2 in).
Signed, titled and dated in pencil on the verso.

£2,000 - 2,500 

Sold for £4,000


20 May 2010