Art Galleries In Johannesburg

Johannesburg is increasingly becoming an art hub in Africa. For example, a corporate collection owned by Absa Bank is one of the largest exhibitions in the world. The city has numerous world-class and well-established galleries. These galleries display sculptures, prints, African art, beadwork, tapestries, ceramics, wirework, etc. Some of the newer galleries dedicate themselves to showing contemporary African art exclusively.

In Johannesburg’s inner city there are many art galleries. There is Co-Op which showcases emerging contemporary design and art. It hosts many events, exhibitions and collaborations. It is located in downtown Johannesburg in Braamfontein.

There is also Johannesburg Art Gallery which is the city’s major gallery. It includes exhibitions of international artists such as Picasso. It also exhibits African artists such as Batisse and Sekoto. Bookings for guided tours can be made. Johannesburg Art Gallery is located in Joubert Park.

Rooke Gallery is in Newtown, in Johannesburg’s CBD. It hosts large-scale exhibitions.

Arts on Main is a new arts venue where Johannesburg’s art community comes together to collaborate, share ideas, etc. in exhibition spaces and events. It has a rooftop bar, restaurant and cinema.

The Absa Gallery, mentioned earlier, is at Absa’s head office in the Absa Towers. It has as much as 20 000 works, making it the largest corporate collection in the world. There are group and solo exhibitions.

Afronova is a unique gallery because it is Pan African in its vision and work. It exhibits contemporary African art. It is located in Newtown and it has a bookshop that also emphasises international and local publications on African art.

At Lilian Road Studios guests can watch artists while they work. It is a platform to help career artists thrive.
Gallery Seippel is the local branch of Cologne’s Seippel Art Culturen. It exhibits both South African and international contemporary art. It also develops culture and art projects.

Unity Gallery exhibitis work by new artists, especially those who make handcrafted figures. It is also a venue for spoken word events.
Artists’ Proof Studio is exceptional in that it is a community based studio. It provides training, producing and selling facilities with an emphasis on skills transfer and exchange programmes with other countries.

The Bag Factory is located in what was previously a bag factory. Now it provides artist studios and gallery space. It is a non-profit which assists artists by providing affordable work spaces. It also has a residency program for cultural exchange. Gallery Oriental is a niche gallery in that it specialises in Islamic art from many countries, including South Africa. It also exhibits African art. There is one in Saxonwold and another in Fordsburg. In Toto Gallery there numerous kinds of styles and genres on display, both international and local. There is contemporary and historical art.

David Brown Fine Art is in upmarket Rosebank. It exhibits contemporary sculptures, ceramics, photography, paintings, etc. It also has a sculpture garden.   At Fine Art, Hyde Park Gallery one can find unique African artefacts. It also has artworks from abroad and South Africa, such as bronze sculptures, engravings and paintings.

The Everard Read Gallery is the biggest and most famous gallery in South Africa. It has artworks from local and international artists.
These are just a few of the art venues in Johannesburg. Besides for galleries and studios there are also numerous arts centres.
Historically, community art centres in South Africa have been extremely important. Previously black art students and artists were not able to attend the main stream art education institutions in the country. It was difficult for them to find training, get materials, workspaces, and work opportunities locally and abroad. This resulted in the establishment of community art centres around the country.

Such art centres include Polly Street Art Centre, The Katlehong Art Centre, Mofolo Art Centre in Soweto. In Kwazulu Natal there was Rorkes Drift.
The Katelhong Art Centre eventually evolved into the Visual Arts and Crafts Academy which specialises on assisting high school drop-outs in order for them to qualify to study arts at a tertiary level.

Rorkes Drift was founded by Swedish art graduates and trained some of South Africa’s best black artists, such as Sam Nhlengethwa. The art in this centre was a tool used to explore issues to do with apartheid and oppression.

The Johannesburg Art Foundation has also nurtured some of South Africa’s best talent such as William Kentridge.
The Community Arts Project located in Cape Town played a significant role in bridging art and social transformation during Apartheid. It printed posters and other items for protest.

1 comment

  1. Good to know these related stuffs and how many people can do for all cases.

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