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David Goldblatt: No Ulterior Motive


The Art Institute of Chicago, 2023

Purchase soon from the Art Institute Museum Shop.

Available to booksellers from Yale University Press.

Renowned South African photographer David Goldblatt (1930–2018) devoted his life to documenting his country and its people. Known for his nuanced portrayals of life under apartheid, Goldblatt covered a wide range of subjects, all of them intimately connected to South African history and politics. David Goldblatt: No Ulterior Motive accompanies a major traveling retrospective organized by the Yale University Art Gallery and the Art Institute of Chicago and presented at both venues as well as at MAPFRE in Madrid. The publication seeks to expand the discourse surrounding the artist’s work, presenting it not as discrete series or projects, as it is usually, but instead—and for the first time—thematically.

In an effort to create a more inclusive dialogue around Goldblatt’s work, the catalogue features a section of images (drawn from the Art Institute’s holdings) and texts by several national and international contemporary photographers and scholars, many of whom were mentored by Goldblatt, including Zanele Muholi and Sabelo Mlangeni. Some write on Goldblatt’s photographs while others discuss his influence on their own work. Outside of his home country, Goldblatt has often been seen as a lone or exceptional figure. The wide-ranging voices in this catalogue foster a broader frame of reference for his work, thus countering a frequent misunderstanding of apartheid as a situation peculiar to South Africa.

Edited by Judy Ditner, Leslie M Wilson, and Matthew S. Witkovsky

Preface by Njabulo S Ndebele

With contributions by Melissa Harris, Candice Jansen, Hilton Judin, Lebohang Kganye, Daniel Magaziner, Sabelo Mlangeni, Ruth Motau, Zanele Muholi, Jo Ractliffe, Ilze Wolfe, and Yechen Zhao

288 pages, 9.5 × 11 in.
178 color + black and white illus.

Hardcover $65 ($58.50 members)
ISBN: 978-0-300-273410


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