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Chris Killip: 1946-2020

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In his out-of-print photo volume 'Seacoal' British photographer Chris KILLIP records life, work as well as the struggle for survival on a beach in the northeast of England in the early 1980s.

The catalog volume 'Arbeit / Work' accompanied the major Chris KILLIP retrospective exhibition 'Arbeit/Work. The book is a collection of black and white photographs that document the decline of industry and the economic hardships faced by working-class communities in the north of England during the 1970s and 1980s. Chris Killip first attempted to photograph Seacoal Beach in Lynemouth, Northumberland, England, in 1976, but it took him six years to gain the trust of the people who worked there. The tactile pleasure of this hardbound book, with its lush paper and sublime tonal printing, nearly overwhelms the content of Killip’s images depicting the landscape and people of working-class England and Ireland during the Thatcher era of the 1970’s and 80’s. It includes a foreword by Brett Rogers, in-depth texts by Ken Grant tracing Killip’s life and career, and essays by Gregory Halpern, Amanda Maddox and Lynsey Hanley.In Flagrante Two is strident in its belief in the primacy of the photograph, embracing ambiguities and contradictions in an unadorned narrative sequence devoid of text. We will be happy to offer you a full refund, replacement or exchange on any items excluding custom prints, Goldfinger + Tate furniture, face coverings and pierced earrings. It includes a foreword by Brett Rogers, in-depth essays by Ken Grant tracing Killip’s life and career, and texts by Gregory Halpern, Amanda Maddox and Lynsey Hanley. His photographs are recognized as some of the most important visual records of 1980s Britain; as editor of this book Ken Grant reflects, they tell the story of those who 'had history "done to them", who felt its malicious disregard and yet, like the photographer with whom they shared so much of their lives, refused to yield or look away. Introduction by Chris Killip, essay by John Berger and Sylvia Grant; edited by Mark Holborn; design by Peter Dyer.

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Lots of people I know on estates, in hospitals, in unemployment queues, now walk on their individual knows and their individual heads are bowed and they haven’t the energy to strengthen their individual spines. Published in 1988, In Flagrante describes the communities in Northern England that were devastated by the deindustrialisation common to policies carried out by Thatcher and her predecessors starting in the mid-1970s. Since 1994 he was Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University in Cambridge (Massachusetts), where Chris KILLIP passed away on October 13, 2020. In Flagrante is a dark, pessimistic journey, perhaps even a secret odyssey, where rigorous documentary is suffused with a contemplative inwardness, a rare quality in modern photography.Chris Killip`s In Flagrante is often cited as the most important photobook to come from England in the 1980s. It is touching to know that Killip was able to assist in the editing of his final publication before succumbing to an illness in the fall of 2020, and that his longtime printer Steidl was brought on board to help produce this beautiful photobook. A highly anticipated retrospective of the life and work of Chris Killip, one of the leading and most influential photographers to emerge from the United Kingdom over the last century.

As the son of English pub owners, Killip grew up in economic circumstances entirely lacking in artifice or pretension. Chris Killip (1946-2020) was one of the most important photographers of the 1970s and 80s, capturing the lives and experiences of the more regionalised communities around the UK. Killip's images reveal the impact of de-industrialisation, unemployment, and social disintegration on the people and landscapes of these communities. He retired from Harvard in December 2017 and continued to live in Cambridge, MA, USA, until his death in October, 2020. In Flagrante" is considered a significant documentary work that highlights the human stories behind the economic decline of the time.Tis a pity that this definitive overview of Killip’s 40+ year career, as a photographer and subsequently as a professor at Harvard University, by the very limits of a one volume publication, cannot include the full bodies of his various projects. This volume focuses on his remarkable Seacoal series, documenting a community at Lynemouth, where, as he put it, ‘the Middle Ages and the twentieth century intertwined’. Are these photographs from the depression era WPA (Works Progress Administration) or documentary portraits by Paul Strand and Eugene Atget, or are they magnificent paintings in the tradition of William Turner or Van Gogh’s “The Potato Eaters”? If you care about the off shoring of manufacturing jobs (and in this instance how that impacted the United Kingdom in the 1970s and 80s) you must seek out Killip’s gorgeous rendering of a tragedy that repeats to this day.

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