Ming Smith

Ming Smith: An Aperture Monograph

Published by Co-published by Aperture and Documentary Arts

A self-taught artists and former model Ming Smith moved to NY in the 1970s. Her work from this time reflected her experience of everyday life, portraits and urban landscape, often with an experimental approach embracing blurred imagery and abstraction. just one year after she began taking photographs her images were included in The Black Photographers Annual published in 1973. She was the first woman to join the Kamoinge Workshop, a group which at the time consisted of 15 Black photographers ‘whose creative objectives reflect a concern for truth about the world, about society, and about themselves.’

Smith is often referenced as being the first African American woman to have her photographs acquired by MoMA, NY, having two prints purchased in 1979. An interesting footnote to a career which is layered, complex and deserving of the much deeper investigation found in this photobook.

Alongside Smith’s images this book also includes contributions by Emmanuel Iduma, Janet Hill Talbert, M. Neelika Jayawardane, Namwali Serpell, Greg Tate, Arthur Jafa, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Yxta Maya Murray.