David Goldblatt has died

Renowned photographer David Goldblatt has died, the Goodman Gallery confirmed on Monday morning.

The 88-year-old was born in Randfontein, the youngest of three sons born to Eli Goldblatt and Olga Light who were refugees from Lithuania.

Goldblatt began photographing in 1948, documenting developments in South Africa through the period of apartheid to the present. His extensive body of work, which was mostly exhibited through the Goodman Gallery, spans 70 years.

In the 1970s and 1980s, some of his most evocative photographs came to provide complex evidence, for the world outside, of the brutality of the apartheid regime.

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. 

Three years later, a retrospective of his work, ‘David Goldblatt Fifty-One Years’ began a tour of galleries and museums. 

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.

Following the tradition of his Jewish faith, Goldblatt will be laid to rest on Tuesday at Westpark cemetery in Johannesburg at noon.

He is survived by his wife Lily, three children and two grandchildren.

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Kiri Rupiah
Kiri Rupiah is the online editor at the Mail & Guardian.

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