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South African Photographs: David Goldblatt

May 2, 2010 - September 19, 2010


...he produced images of great beauty and the most profound humanity.
The Wall Street Journal

David Goldblatt (b. 1930) is one of South Africa’s most highly regarded photographers. As both citizen and photographer, he was witness to apartheid’s infiltration into every aspect of South African life. The exhibition includes 150 black and white photographs by Goldblatt that focus on South Africa’s human landscape in the apartheid and post-apartheid eras. Very precise captions written by the artist accompany each photo in order to convey context and critical information about the image. His photos do not look at the large events or the public face of violence; rather they focus on the world of ordinary people and the minutiae of everyday life, illuminating the depth of injustice and the character of the people who imposed it and who struggled against it. Goldblatt’s Jewish identity is germane to his work. The anti-Semitism that he frequently experienced made him especially sensitive to the deep humiliation and discrimination suffered by blacks under apartheid, informing his artistic vision as well as his attitude toward his country.

South African Photographs: David Goldblatt is presented simultaneously with South African Projections: Films by William Kentridge

In Conversation: David Goldblatt and Joseph Lelyveld (5/4/2010)
David Goldblatt and Joseph Lelyveld
listen/download (90mb)

David Goldblatt 1964
David Goldblatt
The farmer’s son with his nursemaid, on the farm in Heimweeberg, near Nietverdiend in the Marico Bushveld.  Transvaal (North-West Province), 1964
Silver gelatin print

South African Photographs: David Goldblatt is made possible through the generosity of an anonymous donor in memory of Curtis Hereld; the Joseph Alexander Foundation; Goldie and David Blanksteen; Nisa and Bradley Amoils; The Long Island Community Foundation - Stanley & Marion Bergman Family Charitable Fund; the Robert I. Goldman Foundation; the estate of Rhoda Cutler; and other donors.

Plan Your Visit

The Jewish Museum - 5th Avenue
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York NY 10128