Co-published with The Walther Collection, this book is the first to present a comprehensive selection of the work of South African photographer Jo Ractliffe. Looking back over the past 35 years, it brings together images from major photo-essays, as well as early works that have not been seen before.

Publishers: Steidl /// Walther Collection

Photo Credit: © Jo Ractliffe by courtesy of Steidl

Header Photo: Nadir 2, 1987

Jo Ractliffe - Photographs 1980 - now - Bildersturm Blog
The mill, Pomfret Asbestos Mine, 2013
Jo Ractliffe - Photographs 1980 - now - Bildersturm Blog
16: Gansbaai
Jo Ractliffe - Photographs 1980 - now - Bildersturm Blog
On the road to Cuito Cuanavale IV, 2010

Described by Okwui Enwezor as “one of the most accomplished and under-rated photographers of her generation,” Ractliffe started working in the early 1980s, and her photographs continue to reflect her preoccupation with the South African landscape and the ways in which it figures in the country’s imaginary—particularly the violent legacies of apartheid.

In 2007 she extended her interests to the war in Angola and published three photobooks on the aftermath of that conflict and its manifestations in the South African landscape: Terreno Ocupado (2008), As Terras do Fim do Mundo (2010) and The Borderlands (2015).

Publisher’s Info

Jo Ractliffe - Photographs 1980 - now - Bildersturm Blog
Raising the flag, Riemvasmaak, 2013
Jo Ractliffe - Photographs 1980 - now - Bildersturm Blog
Two dogs and waterbowl
Jo Ractliffe - Photographs 1980 - now - Bildersturm Blog
Roadside stall on the way to Viana, 2007
Jo Ractliffe - Photographs 1980 - now - Bildersturm Blog

Book Specs: Photographs 1980 – now by Jo Ractliffe published by Steidl & The Walther Collection (2020) | English Book | Design: Gabrielle Guy | 470 pages | 291 photographs | 24.2 x 28.3 cm | Hardback | ISBN 978-3-95829-698-5 | 1. Edition 10/2020. Available here.

Born in 1961 in Cape Town, Jo Ractliffe studied at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, majoring in photography and printmaking. In 1991 she moved to Johannesburg and took up a post at the University of the Witwatersrand, also teaching at the Market Photo Workshop, founded by David Goldblatt.

Ractliffe has exhibited widely both in South Africa and abroad, including at The Walther Collection Project Space, New York; Fotohof, Salzburg; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Centro Fotográfico Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Oaxaca.

Her work is held in international collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the South African National Gallery, Cape Town. A retrospective of her photography took place at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020.


Video: Jo Ractliffe and Artur Walther In Conversation (Youtube) | Stevenson gallery—alongside The Walther Collection and Steidl Verlag—hosted an online conversation with the artist Jo Ractliffe and Artur Walther on Friday, October 30, 2020.


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