The Goodman Gallery

David Goldblatt

25 Oct - 14 Dec 2012

© David Goldblatt
Team leader and mine captain on a pedal car, Rustenburg Platinum Mine, Rustenburg, 1971 (2_7226), 1971
Silver gelatin photograph
On The Mines
25 October - 14 December 2012

To celebrate the publication of On the Mines, a new edition of the acclaimed 1973 book by David Goldblatt, Goodman Gallery Johannesburg is to exhibit a selection of works from the book, and is pleased to host the South African launch of the new version published by Steidl of Germany, noted publisher of books on fine art and photography.

Now in an expanded and redesigned version, the volume is true to the format of the first issue, featuring the original essay by Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, and with the images divided into three chapters, namely The Witwatersrand: a Time and Tailings, Shaftsinking, and Mining Men. Gordimer has added a postscript to her essay, and the book is extensively updated “to expand the view but not to alter the sense of things,” says Goldblatt. The photographer has now added a text of his own in which he reflects on his childhood in Randfontein, as well as the 1973 publication. Goldblatt and Gordimer collaborated to examine the human and political dimensions of mining in South Africa, and the photographs which are the basis of the book cover a period from the mid-sixties onward. There are now thirty one new, previously unpublished, photographs, including colour images, while eleven pictures from the first edition have been removed. This is to be the first of a planned series of collaborations between David Goldblatt and Steidl to publish both reprints and new books on his work.

The exhibition and book launch are of particular significance at this time in the history of South Africa and its mines. The photographer will be present at the opening of the exhibition, to take part in a public conversation on his work with writer Sean O’Toole, and to sign copies of the new book.

David Goldblatt was born in 1930 in Randfontein, South Africa and since the early 1960s has devoted all of his time to photography. In 1989 Goldblatt founded the Market Photography Workshop in Johannesburg, with, he explains “the object of teaching visual literacy and photographic skills to young people, with particular emphasis on those disadvantaged by apartheid”. In 1998 he was the first South African to be given a one-person exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. Goldblatt received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town in 2001. In that same year a retrospective exhibition, David Goldblatt: Fifty-One Years, opened in Barcelona, and later travelled to galleries and museums around the world, in New York, Rotterdam, Lisbon, Oxford, Brussels, Munich and Johannesburg. His work was represented at Documenta 11 (2002) and Documenta 12 (2007) in Kassel, Germany. Goldblatt received an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2008.
Recent solo exhibitions include those at Marian Goodman Gallery Paris, Goodman Gallery Cape Town and Galeria Elba Benitez in Madrid. His work is currently featured on the exhibition Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s, at the Barbican in London. Goldblatt’s photographs are in the collections of the South African National Gallery, Cape Town; the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and MoMA New York, among many other prestigious museums. Goldblatt is the recipient of the 2006 Hasselblad Award and the 2009 Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, was recently named the 2010 Lucie Award Lifetime Achievement Honoree, and in 2011 received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Tags: Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Goldblatt