What does it mean to live in cities today? This question is central to the photographic works of Pieter Hugo (*1976). The South African photo artist, who travelled through Africa while only in his early twenties – then still as a photo journalist for the New York Times and other publications – captures above all the corporeal presence of people in their respective, often conflict-ridden cultures. His urgent portraits come together to form a social tableau that depicts the current and radically critical realities of life, not only in African cities.


With his various photo series, Pieter Hugo has put together an impressive body of work in the space of just a few years. Through this intense perception of corporeality, he captures the complexity and inconsistency of society. Constants in his work include seriousness, neutrality and an underlying respect for his protagonists, whose dignity always remains intact. In this regard, his works are comparable with the monumental portrait works of August Sanders, who created a contemporary picture of the Weimar Republic with his large-scale cycle “Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts” (People of the 20th Century).

“Even though it feels like I’ve been doing it forever, I am still daunted. It is easier to alienate a stranger than it is to get to know a stranger. You first have to explain who you are and what your intentions are, and then answer to the inevitable WHY? Then the act of persuasion, coming to an agreement. The subject has to be willing to give something. I don’t want it to feel like the image was taken with me only taking. It needs and I hope for a moment of voluntary vulnerability.” – Pieter Hugo



2014  Kin

2012  This Must Be the Place

There’s a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends

2011  Rwanda 2004: Vestiges of a Genocide

Permanent Error

2009 Nollywood

2007  The Hyena & Other Men


2006  Looking Aside: South African Studio Portraits 2003-2006


2012  Shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize

2011  Seydou Keita Award, 9th Recontres de Bamako African Photography Biennial, Mali

FOTOGRAFIA – The Road to Contemporary Art, Rome

Young Director Award, Cannes Lions Festival

2008  Discovery Award, Rencontres d’Arles Festival

KLM Paul Huf Award, Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam

2007  Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art

2006  First prize, Portraits section, World Press Photo

Getty Images Young Photographer Award



2015 Corporeality, | PRISKA PASQUER, Cologne, Germany

Kin, Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris, France

2014 Kin, Fundació Foto Colectania, Barcelona, Spain

Kin, Cokkie Snoei Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Rwanda 20 Years, The Hague, The Netherlands

This Must Be the Place, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal; Centro

Atlántico De Arte Moderno, Las Palmas, Canary Islands

2013 Kin, Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa

Kin, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, USA

This Must Be the Place, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary; Fotografiska

Museum, Stockholm, Sweden

There’s a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends, Les Rencontres d’Arles festival, Arles, France

2012 This Must Be the Place, The Hague Museum of Photography, The Netherlands; Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland; Stimultania Photographic Centre, Strasbourg, France

There’s a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends, extraspazio, Rome, Italy

Nollywood, Pataka, Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand

2011 Permanent Error, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, USA

Permanent Error, Cokkie Snoei, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Permanent Error, ContactPhotography Festival, Toronto, Canada

Permanent Error, MAXXI – National Museum of 21st Century Arts, Rome, Italy

Nollywood, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand

Nollywood, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland, New Zealand

Nollywood, Théâtre de La Ville, Paris, France

2010 Permanent Error, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town; Brodie/Stevenson,

Johannesburg, South Africa

Nollywood, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia

The Hyena and Other Men, Photographic Centre Peri, Turku, Finland

On Reality and Other Stories, Forest Centre Culturel, BRASS, Brussels, Belgium

Nollywood, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

On Reality and Other Stories, Le Chateau d’Eau, Toulouse, France

Pieter Hugo, Colette, Paris, France

The Hyena and Other Men, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel

Nollywood, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, USA

Nollywood, Cokkie Snoei Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

BE PREPARED, Cokkie Snoei Gallery, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Nollywood, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia

2009 Nollywood, Galleria Extraspazio, Rome, Italy

Pieter Hugo: Selected Works, Tinglado 2, Tarragona, Spain

Nollywood, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, Australia

Nollywood, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

2008 The Hyena and Other Men, Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam, The


God’s Time is the Best, Cokkie Snoei Gallery, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Portraits, Ffotogallery, Cardiff, United Kingdom

Portraits, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Nollywood, Warren Siebrits, Johannesburg, South Africa

WORKS 2002-2007, Galerie Bertrand & Gruner, Geneva, Switzerland

2007 The Hyena and Other Men, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, USA

Messina/Musina, Extraspazio, Rome, Italy

Messina/ Musina Standard Bank Young Artist 2009 exhibition, Monument Gallery,

Grahamstown; Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Museum, Port Elizabeth; Durban Art

Gallery, Durban; Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein; Standard Bank Gallery,

Johannesburg; Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Looking Aside, Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

2006 Presence, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Looking Aside, Warren Siebrits Contemporary, Johannesburg, South Africa

Presence, Galerie Bertrand & Gruner, Geneva, Switzerland

2004 The Albino Project, Fabrica Features, Lisbon, Portugal

The Albino Project, Museum of Modern Art, Rome, Italy

Rwanda 2004: Partial Remains and Personal Affects, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa



21c Museum, Louisville, Kentucky

Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Banque Neuflize OBC, Paris

Bass Museum, Miami, Florida

Cincinnati Art Museum

Daimler Art Collection

Deutsche Börse Group, Frankfurt

Ethnologische Museum, Berlin

FNAC, France

Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam

Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany

Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, Modena, Italy

FRAC Réunion, Reunion Island, France

Fundación Forvm per a la Fotografia, Tarragona, Spain

Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Huis Marseille, Amsterdam

Johanesburg Art Gallery, South Africa

Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town

Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

LaSalle Bank, Chicago, Illinois

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris

Margulies Collection, Miami, Florida

Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

MOMA, New York

MUDAM, Luxembourg

MUSAC_Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León

Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland

Museum of Fine arts, Houston

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey

North Carolina Museum of Art

Progressive Art Collection, Cleveland

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco

South African National Gallery, Cape Town

Victoria & Albert Museum

The Walther Collection, Burlafingen, Germany

Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Witte de With, Rotterdam, The Netherlands