David Goldblatt was born in 1930 in Randfontein, South Africa. He has photographed the structures, people and landscapes of his country since 1948. In 1989, Goldblatt founded the Market Photography Workshop in Johannesburg. In 1998 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. He 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 and in 2018, a major retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. 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.
Source: Goodman Gallery
He shot mostly in black-and-white for much of his career. In 1998 the Museum of Modern Art in New York gave him a solo exhibition. Its 40 photographs were all black-and-white because, he explained, "color seemed too sweet a medium to express the anger, disgust and fear that apartheid inspired."
But in the 1990s Mr. Goldblatt began working in color, adapting to the digital age. "I’ve found the venture into color quite exciting,"
he said in 2011, "largely because new technology has enabled me to work with color on the computer as I have done with black and white in the darkroom."
Source: The New York Times
David Goldblatt was South African photographer known for his uncompromising images of his country during apartheid and afterward. “I was very interested in the events that were taking place in the country as a citizen but, as a photographer, I’m not particularly interested, and I wasn’t then, in photographing the moment that something happens. I’m interested in the conditions that give rise to events,” he once explained. Born on November 29, 1930 in Randfontein, South Africa, he began photographing at an early age but his father’s illness required Goldblatt to run his family business while studying at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. After selling the company in 1963, Goldblatt focused entirely on a career in photography. His involvement with various artistic circles in Johannesburg granted him access to a broad range of ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Though he refused to belong to any political organization and argued that his photographs should not be used for propaganda purposes, his works were presented in an exhibition organized by an anti-apartheid photographer’s collective in 1990. In 1998, Goldblatt became the first South African artist to have a solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. The artist died on June 25, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Today, his photographs are held in the collections of the South African National Gallery in Cape Town, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, among others.