London

John Riddy

Frith Street Gallery | Golden Square

In the critical writing on John Riddy’s photography, a divergence of interpretation emerges. For some, his images embody “spatial illusion and dreaming”: They reverberate “with what is not shown or displayed” and demonstrate “photography’s capacity to conflate time and its ability to evoke the history of a place.” Others read the photographs rather differently, as “relentlessly hard-nosed and formal” documentaries that lack “any sense of nostalgia.”

So is Riddy a romantic or a realist? That such an uncertainty can exist is a function of the extreme subtlety of this photographer’s image-world. Exploring muted ranges of color and tone, and often representing unremarkable locations that would never make it into any tourist guide to London (postwar housing developments, the underbelly of a concrete overpass, nondescript riverside views, and so on), the ten landscape-format color photographs

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