Tate Modern

David Goldblatt

Natalie Bell Building Level 2 West
David Goldblatt, ‘Child Minder. Joubert Park, Johannesburg’ 1975, printed 2013
David Goldblatt, Child Minder. Joubert Park, Johannesburg 1975, printed 2013. Tate. © David Goldblatt

South African photographer David Goldblatt described himself as ‘a self-appointed observer and critic of the society into which I was born'

David Goldblatt, born in 1930, came from a white Jewish family. He began taking photographs in 1948. That year saw the start of apartheid in South Africa, a policy of racial discrimination and segregation.

As a young photographer, Goldblatt set out to capture ‘the underbelly of the society that underlay South Africa’. He explained: ‘to understand it visually, I also had to get a grasp on the history of the country. So I did a degree, which included courses in English and economic history. This taught me how to think and understand what was happening around me.’ His images reflect this desire to understand the full context behind what is depicted.

Goldblatt rarely photographed scenes of violent oppression or of protest against apartheid. Instead, he explored ‘the values and conditions that gave rise to the events’. This display brings together three bodies of work that reflect this approach: Structures, begun in 1961, Particulars, which he started in 1975 and The Transported of KwaNdebele 1983–4.

Curated by Sarah Allen

The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Gallery


Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG
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