On an ordinary midweek afternoon in February 2023, I attended a retrospective exhibition of photographer Chris Killip's work at the Photographers’ Gallery in central London. Killip was one of the most influential British photographers of the late twentieth century, and his work provides a startling portrayal of working-class life. Curated by Tracy Marshall-Grant and Ken Grant, the retrospective consisted of over 150 photographs spanning Killip's career from work in his native Isle of Man in the early 1970s to the various projects that went into his most famous work, In Flagrante (1988). The Killip retrospective was one of the gallery's most popular recent exhibitions. Going into the exhibition without a formal background in photography criticism, I discovered later that I shared with experts some observations and reactions to Killip's work. I consequently read contemporary reviewers’ assessments, which I discuss here, but this review is largely my personal impressions of...

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