Thu, 3rd Sep 2020 20:00

Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 141
Lot 141 - David Goldblatt (South Africa 1930–2018)


David Goldblatt (South Africa 1930–2018)
Family at Lunch. Wheatlands Plot, Randfontein, 9/62

hand printed gelatin silver print

Artwork date: 1962
Signature details: signed and inscribed with the title in pencil and stamped with the David Goldblatt copyright credit stamp on the reverse

Sold for R284,500
Estimated at R200,000 - R300,000

Condition Report


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hand printed gelatin silver print

Artwork date: 1962
Signature details: signed and inscribed with the title in pencil and stamped with the David Goldblatt copyright credit stamp on the reverse


image size: 20 x 30 cm


David Goldblatt’s critically acclaimed series Some Afrikaners Photographed marked his entry into full-time photography in the early 1960s. It was during this period that he began to explore and document working-class, rural Afrikaner people, initially around the Randfontein district west of Johannesburg where he was also born and raised. Influenced by the 1920s short-stories of backveld Afrikaner life by Herman Charles Bosman, the project would later lead him to the close-knit communities of the Groot Marico district, the Karoo, Gamkaskloof and then further afield as he travelled through the vast and sparsely populated parts of the country.Goldblatt’s subjects were small-plot owners, descendants of families impoverished following the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902). Further afflicted by drought and the Depression of the 1930s, many had lost their farmlands and become displaced, with some migrating into the cities whilst others subsisted on small agricultural plots – many living as bywoners.The photographic essay for Some Afrikaners was completed in 1969 and published in 1975. In 2007, a new book Some Afrikaners Revisited was published which, with the exception of one image, included all of the photographs reproduced in the first book in addition to 20 never-before-seen photographs taken at the same time.This hand-printed photo of ‘a plot-holder, his wife and their eldest son at lunch’, taken in 1962, is one of the earliest and most prominent works in the series and was exhibited as part of Goldblatt’s major retrospective exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in 2018.Set against the socio-political rise to power of the National Party and the elite, the image reveals the stark reality of life on the margins. It is a powerful photograph that tells a tale of despair, distress and a moment of conflict. Reminiscent of the American photographers of the Great Depression, Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, Goldblatt presents a sensitive portrayal of a family on the brink, enduring against the odds. It is these intricate realities of everyday life, seen against the deeply embedded contradictions of a people at a particular point in history, that is laid bare.Earlier this year, Steidl published a re-release of Some Afrikaners Photographed.

Marelize van Zyl

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Auction: Modern & Contemporary Art, Thu, 3rd Sep 2020

This Spring, Aspire Art Auctions broke new ground with a fresh, yet considered selection of artworks that is demographically more representative and reflects the spirit of current times. With a strong focus on South Africa, the sale also proudly represented artists from 10 African countries (Benin, DRC, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sudan, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe) and international artists from Europe, the UK and USA. 

A great highlight was Edoardo Villa’s monumental steel sculpture titled Traverse from 1957 which achieved R4,893,400 – an auction record for the artist. Other exceptional offerings included works by Gerard Sekoto, George Pemba, Peter Clarke and Nicholas Hlobo.

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