Portrait photographer and client, Braamfontein (3_1538, 3_1539)

David Goldblatt
Portrait photographer and client, Braamfontein (3_1538, 3_1539), 1955
Silver gelatin print on fibre-based paper (diptych)
Image (each): 26.7 x 40.3 cm

David Goldblatt chronicled the structures, people and landscapes of his country from 1948 – through the rise of Afrikaner Nationalism, the apartheid regime and into the democratic era – until his death in June 2018. Goldblatt’s photography examines how South Africans have expressed their values through the structures, physical and ideological, that they have built. In 1989, Goldblatt founded the Market Photography Workshop in Johannesburg. In 1998 he was the first South African to have 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 major international galleries and museums. He was one of the few South African artists to exhibit at both Documenta 11 (2002) and Documenta 12 (2007) in Kassel, Germany. He has held solo exhibitions at the Jewish Museum and the New Museum, both in New York. “In a self-reflexive gesture, a pair of images from 1955 documents an itinerant photographer and his client. Visible in the images are an old-fashioned camera and tripod with cloth cover, and a man in a baggy suit who laughs and sways charismatically, as though dancing to music before the lens.” Rachel Kent, chief curator MCA