David Lurie was born in Cape Town. He studied economics, politics and philosophy and taught philosophy at the University of Cape Town. From 1980 to 1985 he undertook research in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics, and co-edited Millenium, Journal of International Studies, after which he worked as a consultant-economist in London. A self-taught photographer, he began doing documentary projects part-time in 1990 and full-time in 1995.

After living in London for 31 years, Lurie moved back to Cape Town in 2011.

He is represented by Commune.1 Gallery (Cape Town, SA) and ARTCO Art Gallery (Germany)

Selected solo exhibitions

  1. ‘Bitter Harvest’: 1992 [UK, Europe, US, South Africa]*
  2. ‘Life in the Liberated Zone’: 1993 [UK, Europe, US, South Africa]*
  3. ‘After Apartheid: South Africa’s black middle class’: 1995 [ Commissioned by the Getty Museum, Los Angeles; toured US with ‘Life in the Liberated Zone’.]. Black Gallery, Los Angeles.
  4. ‘Struggling to Share the Promised Land’: 2001 [UK, Germany, Bahrain, South Africa]* District Six Museum, Cape Town. Museum Africa, Johannesburg. Woolfson & Tay, 2011
  5. ‘Cape Town Fringe: Manenberg Avenue is where it’s Happening’. [Side Gallery, Newcastle, March - May, 2004. Cape Town [SA National Gallery], Johannesburg [PhotoZA Gallery], Amsterdam.*
  6. *commissioned by Side Photography Gallery, Newcastle.
  7. ‘Images of Table Mountain’ . [Cape Town International Book Fair (2006); Bell Roberts Gallery, Cape Town (2006); Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg (2007). Hereford Photography Festival, UK (2007).
  8. ‘Fragments from the Edge’, [Joao Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town [2008, for the Month of Photography. Cape Town International Book Fair, CTICC, Cape Town (June, 2009).]
  9. ‘The Right To Refuge’, Holocaust Museum, Cape Town. June & July, 2010.
  10. ‘Off Side: Cape Town 2010’, Association of Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery , Cape Town, June & July, 2010.
  11. ‘The Long Street Show’, Association of Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery, Cape Town. March, 2011.
  12. ‘Encounters at the Edge’, Photographers’ Gallery, Cape Town. 11 July – 31 August, 2012.
    Bekris Gallery, San Francisco, USA. 1 November, 2012 – 7th January, 2013
    Constitution Hill, Johannesburg. April, 2013
  13. 'Morning After Dark', Commune.1 Gallery, Cape Town, August & September 2014

Selected Group Exhibitions

  1. ‘From Pierneef to Gugulective – 1910-2010: Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town. Group show. April – September, 2010.
  2. ‘Present History II’, Photographers’ Gallery, Cape Town. September, 2011
  3. ‘On the Beat – Photography Now’, Photographers’ Gallery. Cape Town, 2012
  4. ‘Home’, Jewish Museum. Cape Town. Month of Photography/5. 2012
  5. ‘In the Blink of An Eye’, Luoca Art Museum in Xiamen, China. 2013

Selected Art Fairs

  1. ‘Hereford Photography Festival’, UK (2007)
  2. ‘Jo’burg Art Fair’, 2011 [Sovereign Art Foundation ‘finalists’ exhibition]
  3. ‘Photo LA Art Fair’, Los Angeles. January, 2012
  4. ‘Contemporary Art Fair’, Zurich, Switzerland. 12 – 14 October, 2012
  5. ‘Photo LA Art Fair’, Los Angeles. January, 2013
  6. Cape Town Art Fair (part of the Comune.1 Gallery booth), February, 2014
  7. Jo'burg Art Fair (part of the ARTCO Gallery booth), August, 2014


  1. Including: Arts Council of Great Britain Grant Awards (several)
  2. ‘Pictures of the Year International’ (POYi) [Magazine Feature]: 1992
  3. Ilford Profoto (South Africa) [documentary features]: 1992
  4. Nikon UK [Feature story]: 2000
  5. “World Understanding Award” at the 61st Annual ‘Pictures of the Year International’ (POYi) Competition, for “Cape Town Fringe: Manenberg Avenue is where it’s Happening”. 2004
  6. Sovereign Art Foundation / Sovereign African Art Prize: Finalist. 2011

Public Collections

  1. Iziko National Gallery
  2. Side Gallery, Newcastle
  3. Bradford Museums & Galleries
  4. Getty Centre for Arts & Humanities (Los Angeles)
  5. Black Gallery (Los Angeles)
  6. Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria


  1. ‘Life in the Liberated Zone’ (Cornerhouse, UK. 1995)
  2. ‘Cape Town Fringe: Manenberg Avenue is where it’s Happening’.(Double Storey Books, 2004)
  3. ‘Images of Table Mountain’, (Bell-Roberts, 2006)
  4. ‘Encounters at the Edge’, (exhibition catalogue, Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town, 2013)
  5. ‘The Right to the City’, To be published by Fourth Wall Books (SA) in 2015

Website by Richard Wilding