David Goldblatt dies

18:43 (GMT+2) Mon, 25 Jun 2018

CAPE TOWN, June  (ANA) - David Goldblatt, South Africa's best-known photographer, died on Monday.

The Goodman Gallery confirmed the death of the artist in a statement. 

"It is with great sorrow that we announce that David Goldblatt has died, aged 87. He passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning at his home in Johannesburg."

Goldblatt was internationally acclaimed for his black and white works that chronicled everyday life under white minority rule in South Africa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said Goldblatt used "the camera to capture the struggles of our people" and to portray the social and moral order that defined apartheid.

He will be buried in the Jewish section of the Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg at noon on Tuesday.

In 1998, Goldblatt became the first South African to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and in 2009 he won the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award.

He was awarded the Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres  order by the French ministry of culture in 2016 and in February this year a retrospective of his work, including some 200 photographs, opened at the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

Many South Africans paid tribute to Goldblatt on social media. Former newspaper editor Nic Dawes recalled that in his 80s Goldblatt continued to produce fine work and campaign for freedom of expression, notably protesting against the controversial Protection of State Information Bill.

He cancelled the bequest of his work to the University of Cape Town after artworks and libraries were vandalised in student riots.

Goldblatt began photographing in the early 1960s and described his decision to work mainly in black and white by saying colour seemed too "sweet" a medium for the bitterness and disgust that apartheid inspired. His later work often focused on landscapes and architecture as a reflection of social values. 

Goldblatt's family was of Lithuanian and Latvian Jewish origin and he grew up in Randfontein. He is survived by his wife, three children and several grandchildren.

- African News Agency (ANA)