Pieter Hugo (South African, b.1976) is a self-taught portrait and documentary photographer known for his images of marginalized communities in Africa. Born in Johannesburg, Hugo initially worked in the film industry in Cape Town, before spending two years in Italy at Fabrica, a research center for artists.

He has since traveled extensively, to countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Liberia. His subjects include gang members, taxi washers, AIDS victims, albinos, and the blind. Hugo’s most well-known series, The Hyena and Other Men, was executed between 2005 and 2007, and was later published as a monograph. The series depicts a group of itinerant minstrels who perform with hyenas and other wild animals. Like his other works, the series is characterized by a stark, sometimes graphic depiction of its subject matter.

He has received several awards throughout his career, including first prize in the Portraits section of World Press Photo in 2005, the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 2007, the KLM Paul Huf Award, and the Arles Discovery Award at the Rencontres d’Arles Photography Festival in 2008.

He has had solo exhibitions at the Hague Museum of Photography, the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Fotografiska in Stockholm, MAXXI in Rome, and the Institute of Modern Art Brisbane, among others. Hugo has also participated in a number of group exhibitions at institutions such as the Tate Modern, the Folkwang Museum, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, and the São Paulo Bienal. His work is part of prestigious collections around the world, including The Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Folkwang Museum in Essen, and Huis Marseille in Amsterdam.

Hugo lives and works in Cape Town.

Timeline

1976
Born in Cape Town, South Africa
2002–2003
Two-year Residency at Fabrica, Treviso, Italy
2005
First Prize Portraits section of the 2005 World Press Photo
2006
Getty Images Young Photographers
2007
Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art
2008
KLM Paul Huf Award, Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam
2008
Discovery Award, Rencontres d’Arles Festival
2008
KLM Paul Huf Award, Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam
Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa

Exhibitions

2012
Nollywood, Pataka, Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand
2012
This Must Be the Place, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne (solo)
2012
This Must Be the Place, The Hague Museum of Photography, the Netherlands (solo)
2011
Permanent Error, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York (solo)
2011
Nollywood, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland (solo)
2011
Nollywood, Théâtre de La Ville, Paris (solo)
2010
On Reality and Other Stories, Forest Centre Culturel, BRASS, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
2010
Nollywood, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (solo)
2010
The Hyena and Other Men, Herziliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herziliya, Israel (solo)
2010
Counterlives, Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
2010
Disquieting Images, Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy
2010
Lie of the Land: Representations of the South African Landscape, Old Town House, Cape Town, South Africa
2010
PEEKABOO: Current South Africa, Tennis Palace Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland
2010
Room for Justice, Avocats Sans Frontières, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2010
A Celebration of 20 Years, Hereford Photo Festival, Belfast, Ireland
2010
FotoTageTrier 2010, Berlin, Germany
2010
Angor Photo Festival, Siem Reap, Cambodia
2010
Nollywood, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2010
Nollywood, Cokkie Snoei Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
2010
BE PREPARED!, Cokkie Snoei Gallery, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
2010
Nollywood, Greenway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia (solo)
2009
Nollywood, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (solo)
2009
Nollywood, Extraspazio, Rome, Italy (solo)
2009
Nollywood, Australian Center for Photography, Sydney, Australia (solo)
2009
Pieter Hugo: Selected Works, Tinglado 2, Tarragona, Spain (solo)
2009
Les Rencontres de Bamako Biennial of African Photography, Bamako, Mali
2009
Creating Identity: Portraits Today, 21c Museum, Louisville, KY
2009
The Endless Renaissance, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL
2009
Unbounded: New Art for a New Century, The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
2009
3 stories: Pieter Hugo, Mikhael Subotzky, Paolo Woods, Centre national de l'audiovisuel (CNA), Dudelange, Luxembourg
2009
Stigmata, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, Geneva, Switzerland
2009
Photo Beijing, Beijing, China
2009
Animalism, National Media Museum, Bradford, UK
2009
reGeneration: 50 Photographers of Tomorrow, Hoffman Gallery, Lewis and Clark
2009
College, Portland, OR; Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, University of Maryland / Baltimore County, College Park, MD
2008
Nollywood, Warren Siebrits Contemporary, Johannesburg, South Africa
2008
Make Art/Stop AIDS, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
2008
Presumed Innocence: Photographic Perspectives of Children, DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Massachusetts
2008
Messina/Musina, Extraspazio Gallery, Rome, Italy (solo)
2008
Works 2002 – 2007, Galerie Bertrand & Gruner, Geneva, Switzerland (solo)
2008
Portraits, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, UK (solo)
2008
Foam_Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
2008
Messina/Musina, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (solo)
2008
Street & Studio: An Urban History of Photography, Tate Modern, London, UK; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
2008
A Look Away, Kuckei + Kuckei, Berlin, Germany
2008
The Tropics: Views from the Middle of the Globe, Berliner Festspiele, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
2008
Rencontres d'Arles Photography Festival, Arles, France
2008
reGeneration: 50 Photographers of Tomorrow, DeVos Art Museum, Marquette, MI; Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art; Miami Dade Community College, Miami, FL
2008
Room for Justice, Palais de Justice, Brussels, Belgium [Traveling Exhibition]
2008
Portraits, FFotogallery, Cardiff, UK (solo)
2008
God’s Time is the Best, Cokkie Snoei Gallery, Rotterdam, NL (solo)
2008
The Hyena and Other Men, FOAM_Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam, NL (solo)
2007
Extraspazio, Rome, Italy
2007
Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art 2007 touring exhibition, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa
2007
Contemporary Photography from South Africa – Part 1, Hereford Photography Festival, UK
2007
reGeneration: 50 Photographers of Tomorrow, Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
2007
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany
2007
Looking Aside, Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
2007
Art Institute of Boston, Boston, MA
2007
Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
2007
Pieter Hugo, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2007
An Atlas of Events, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon
2007
South Africa in Two Parts, Hereford Photography Festival, Hereford
2007
LUMO 07 - "us", International Triennial of Photography, Jyväskylä, Finland
2007
In your face, galerie bertrand & gruner, Geneva, Switzerland
2007
Faccia A Faccia: Il nouvo ritratto fotografico, FORMA, Centro Internazionale di Fotografia, Milan, Italy
2007
Family Relation, Warren Siebrits, Johannesburg, South Africa
2007
Reality Check: Contemporary art photography from South Africa 2007, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Chemnitz, Germany; Museum Bochum, Bochum, Germany; Galerie der Stadt Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen, Germany
2007
Messina/Musina, Extraspazio, Rome, Italy (solo)
2006
Black, Brown and White, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
2006
South African Art Now, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa
2006
Looking Aside, Warren Siebrits Contemporary, Johannesburg, South Africa (solo)
2006
Como Viver Junto, 27th Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil
2006
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Santiago de Chile, Chile
2006
Street: Behind the Cliché, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands
2006
Pingyao International Photographic Festival (PIP), Pingyao, China
2006
Tour - Cape Town to Miami: Hilger Contemporary, Vienna, Austria; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
2006
Nie Meer, De Warande in Turnhout, Belgium
2006
Rivers of Suffering, Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
2006
Présence Galerie Bertrand & Gruner, Geneva, Switzerland (solo)
2006
Presence, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2005
Re:Generation. 50 Photographers of Tomorrow, Aperture Gallery, New York, NY; Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
2004
Museum of Modern Art, Rome, Italy (solo)
2004
Fabrica Features, Lisbon, Portugal (solo)
2004
Rwanda 2004: Vestiges of a Genocide, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (solo)
2004
The Albino Project, Fabrica Features, Lisbon, Portugal
2004
The Albino Project, National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome, Italy
2003
Staged Realities—The Studio in African Photography, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2003
From Chaos to Order and Back, DDD Gallery, Osaka, Japan; Ginza Graphic Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2002
Margin, the Cold Room Photographic Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (solo)
2002
Positions on South African Photography—Today, OMC Galerie, Düsseldorf, Germany

Public Collections

The Walther Collection, Burlafingen, Germany
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA
Witte de With, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
LaSalle Bank, Chicago, IL
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France
Margulies Collection, Miami, FL
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
Progressive Art Collection
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castillo y León
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
21c Museum, Louisville, KY
Bass Museum, Miami, FL
Ethnologische Museum, Berlin, Germany
FOAM_Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany
Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, Modena, Italy
Germeentemuseum, Den Haag, the Netherlands
Huis Marseille, Amersterdam, the Netherlands
Johanesburg Art Gallery, South Africa
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Literature

2007
MESSINA/MUSINA,photographs by Pieter Hugo. Transcript of a conversationbetween Pieter Hugo and Joanna Lehan. Text by Stacy Hardy Punctum Editions
2007
THE HYENA AND OTHER MEN, photographs by Pieter Hugo. Prestel, 2007. Text by Adekotunbo Abiola
2006
LOOKING ASIDE, photographs by Pieter Hugo. Text by Antjie Krog. Punctum
2006
FACE: the New Photographic Portrait, edited by William A. Ewing. Thames & Hudson
2006
Black, Brown, White. Photography from South Africa. Kunsthalle Wien
2005
Regeneration: 50 photographers of tomorrow. Aperture and Thames and Hudson