John Riddy

20 Sep - 19 Nov 1994 Soho Square

The exhibition encompasses photographs made over the last three years – principally of buildings in Europe and America.

Riddy’s photographs, which are both exterior and interior views, are composed in the apparently ‘pictorial’ manner of picture postcards or ‘classic’ black and white guide book photographs by Hurlimann. They sometimes also carry the relationship with subject that the proud owner might wish to convey of his house. His photographs always present an appropriately distanced view of place and hold the architecture in straightforward respect. With an unsuspected power they reflect the fragility of buildings and the way we project meaning upon them.


Riddy’s photographs are informed by a dialogue with other photography – 19th century French and 20th century American photography have been particularly important – as well as with painting and sculpture. They emphasise the sculptural nature of space, drawing on the tension created between the chosen subject and its surroundings.


However, his images possess a quality that transcends this atmosphere of stillness – exploiting a strong sense of illusion. The half timber house in Normandy turns out to be unbuilt, the apparently cosy living room in Tuscany belongs to an uninhabited house. Windows and doors are left open, televisions on; strange juxtapositions often develop within the picture frame.