The early 1970s saw the emergence of new and independent approaches to documentary photography, which focused on social realism. The leading exponent, Tony Ray-Jones, captured the comedies of social class and the absurdities of human behaviour within the constraints of British culture. By the end of the 1970s, the status of photography within the artistic context had been established. Motifs of intense political dissatisfaction spread across the urban vistas of Ian Dobbie, while Philip Jones-Griffith and Paul Graham employed more conventional forms of photojournalism of urban conflict in the North of Ireland and the streets of South London.The human costs of de-industrialisation and globalisation were the great central themes of the documentary photographers active in the North of England in the late 1970s and 1980s. The social disasters captured in Chris Killip's work extended into the darkly-coloured, claustrophobic interiors of DHSS offices photographed by Paul Graham, and Martin Parr's lividly coloured documents of holiday makers in New Brighton, Liverpool.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Photography, Style and Social Meaning in Britain: 1930s-60s A Social Carnival: 1967-75 Portrait and Place: 1973-77 Ethnicity, Community and Street: 1972-80 Picturing the Civic Crisis: 1976-81 Wastelands: 1976-82Society in Colour: 1984-87 Conclusion - From Document to Art? The 1990s to the Present
David Alan Mellor is Professor of Art History at the University of Sussex. A specialist in the history, theory and criticism of photography. His published works include: Antonioni's Blow-Up, London 1966 (2006), Liliane Lijn, Works, 1958-1980 (2005), Interpreting Lucian Freud (2003), and The Art of Robyn Denny (2002).