David Goldblatt: Johannesburg 1948 – 2018
Opening 9 July to 11 September 2020, Goodman Gallery will present David Goldblatt: Johannesburg 1948 – 2018, the acclaimed South African photographer’s first major solo exhibition in London since 1986.
Renowned for a lifetime of photography exploring his home country, Goldblatt produced an unparalleled body of work within the city of Johannesburg, where he lived for 50 years.
The exhibition maps Goldblatt’s evolution of work in a city divided by structural racism and subject to waves of trauma and resistance. Goldblatt was engaged in the conditions of society – the values by which people lived – rather than the climactic outcomes of those conditions. He intended to discover and probe these values through the medium of photography.
“Johannesburg”, Goldblatt wrote, “is not an easy city to love. From its beginnings as a mining camp in 1886, whites did not want brown and black people living among or near them and over the years pushed them further and further from the city and its white suburbs. Like the city itself, my thoughts and feelings about Joburg are fragmented. I can’t easily bring a vision or a coherent bundle of ideas to mind and say, “That’s Joburg for me. ” Over the years I have photographed a wide range of subjects, each was almost self-contained, a fragment of a whole that I’ve never quite grasped.”
In 1989, Goldblatt founded the Market Photography Workshop in Johannesburg. A year earlier, he was the first South African to be given a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2001, a retrospective of his work, David Goldblatt Fifty-One Years began a tour of galleries and museums. He was one of the few South African artists to exhibit at Documenta 11 (2002) and Documenta 12 (2007) in Kassel, Germany. Goldblatt has held solo exhibitions at the Jewish Museum and the New Museum, both in New York. His work was included in the exhibition ILLUMInations at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 and has featured on shows at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Barbican Centre in London.
Goldblatt is the recipient of the 2006 Hasselblad award, the 2009 Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, the 2013 ICP Infinity Award and, in 2016, he was awarded the Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the Ministry of Culture of France.
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