The Museum Folkwang is showing an overview of the works of the photographer Chris Killip. After the retrospective of Joel Sternfeld, a dedicated color photographer, we are presenting in Killip a pictorial author for whom black and white photography means a concentration on content.
Our exhibition includes 107 photographs from the period 1968-2004 made in the North of England. Born in 1946 in Douglas on the Isle of Man, Killip began his career as photographer as assistant to Adrian Flowers in London and then began working as an independent photographer in 1969. In 1976 he was a founding member of the Side Gallery in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where he organized numerous photography exhibitions as director and curator.
Since 1991, Killip has been professor of photography at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since 1973 Killip’s photographs have been presented in numerous exhibitions. With his project INFLAGRANTE, which appeared as a book in 1988, he attained international recognition. This work, in which Killip formulated his interest for the relation of people with their surroundings, was the result of a long-term project in the North of England between 1975 and 1987. A large part of his photographic work was done in this region. From a personal knowledge of this landscape and its people Killip developed a form of photographic narrative which moves between distance and closeness, between factual description and subjective commentary. This moment of regional or even local concentration had already provided British photographers a new perspective in the 1970s, one which it would perhaps be worthwhile looking back on today in the context of global ambitions.