BP Spotlight: Karen Knorr

Karen Knorr, ‘Belgravia’ 1979–81
Karen Knorr
Belgravia 1979–81
Tate
© Karen Knorr

This display brings together two series of work by the photographer Karen Knorr: Belgravia 1979–81 and Gentlemen 1981–83, which form part of the Eric and Louise Franck London Collection. Knorr’s work emerged out of debates in cultural studies that were current in the 1970s about the politics of representation.

The series, Gentlemen and Belgravia both combine image and text. Gentlemen brings together photographs taken in gentlemen’s clubs in central London with text constructed out of speeches of parliament and the news; in doing Knorr explores patriarchal values in the upper middle classes. Belgravia highlights the aspirations and lifestyle of a privileged minority living in one of the most affluent parts of London.