Zwelethu Mthethwa.
Photography by Zwelethu Mthethwa. Text by Isolde Brielmaier, Okwui Enwezor.
Aperture, New York, 2010. 180 pp., 75 color illustrations, 11¾x10½".

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2010 by:


Publisher's Description
Since Apartheid’s fall in 1994, South African photography has exploded from the grip of censorship onto the world stage. A key figure in this movement is Zwelethu Mthethwa, whose portraits powerfully frame black South Africans as dignified and defiant individuals, even under the duress of social and economic hardship. Photographing in urban and rural industrial landscapes, Mthethwa documents a range of aspects in South Africa, from domestic life and the environment to landscape and labor issues. Mthethwa’s work challenges the conventions of bothWestern documentary work and African commercial studio photography, marking a transition away from the visually exotic and diseased—or “Afro-pessimism,” as curator Okwui Enwezor has described it—and employing a fresh approach marked by color and collaboration. Zwelethu Mthethwa, the artist’s long awaited first comprehensive monograph provides an overview of his work to date, and features the stunning portraits that have brought him international acclaim.


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