What To Expect At The Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2019

WORDS Cheri Morris

Over 100 galleries and exhibitors will come together to take part in this year’s Investec Cape Town Art Fair, running from 15 – 17 February 2019.

The seventh edition of the fair will see the Cape Town International Convention Centre abuzz with artists, galleries, collectors, curators, visitors and art journalists from across the world.

Here’s what to expect:

A Thought-Provoking Talks Programme

Well-versed art experts and newbies alike are encouraged to join in on the panel discussion on “Curating in the 21st Century”, a period of splintering movements and shifting perspectives. The esteemed panel of acclaimed scholars and curators from a myriad territories will not only unpack contemporary exhibition making but also explore the collection of digital arts, the world of copyrights and creative hubs.

Take this opportunity to converse with some of the world’s most renowned artists. Speakers include Renaud Proch, Director of Independent Curators International; Chief Curator Khwezi Gule of Jo’burg Art Gallery; and Tegan Bristow, Head of Digital Media at Wits University.

Tomorrow’s Talent Today

Revel in a curated cross-section of the world’s most thrilling emerging artists selected by none other than the Art Fair’s own Tumelo Mosaka. This is a showcase of important voices that intends to transform emerging talent into trail-blazing stars.

You can expect to see the likes of  Zyma Amien (South Africa) of Art First in London, United Kingdom; Medina Dugger (US/Nigeria) of Art Twenty One in Lagos, Nigeria; John Metelerkamp (South Africa) of Candice Berman Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa; Troy Makaza (Zimbabwe) of First Floor Gallery in Harare, Zimbabwe; and Chris Soal (South Africa) of Guns & Rain in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Digital Direction in the SOLO Section

The SOLO section of the fair will delve into the digital world of our realities. An assortment of solo presentations will see mediums bearing messages as new and traditional skill sets engage in meaningful conversation. Prepare to be bewildered, and possibly uncomfortable, by the exploration of the volatile relationship between the physical and digital space.

Confirmed artists include Kyu Sang Lee (South Korea) of Eclectica Contemporary in Cape Town, South Africa; Ibrahim Mahama (Ghana) of APalazzo Gallery in Brescia, Italy; Sitaara Stodel (South Africa) of Smith Studio in Cape Town, South Africa; Tabita Rezaire (French Guyana/Denmark) of Goodman Gallery in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa; Jake Singer (South Africa) of Matter Gallery in Toronto, Canada.

Local Talent

Meet Africa’s exhilarating gallery circuit in all of its splendour. Meander down this section to steep yourself in a contemporary African art scene that simultaneously offers creations that speak of worlds beyond the confines of the artists’ home soil.

Exhibiting galleries include Afriart Gallery of Kampala; Nairobi’s Circle Art Gallery; Espaco Luanda Arte; First Floor Gallery of Harare; Louis Simone Guirandou Gallery of Abidjan; Omenka Gallery of Lagos; and This is not a White Cube of Luanda.

Unframed’s Emerging Artists

Meet the interactive section that functions as a platform for the commissioning of rising talent. Envelope yourself in activations where emerging artists commune with the public outside of the traditional gallery context.

Last year saw artists Lungiswa Gqunta, Turiya Magadlela and Sethembile Msezane commissioned to narrate the lives of ordinary women and transform traditionally dull objects into tools of disorder. While it will be a tough act to follow, the seventh edition promises to be thrilling.

Cultural Platforms for Non-Profit Initiatives

The Cultural Platforms section is a stage for non-profit art institutions that operate both locally and in Africa. Illustrating an aim that is broader than the successes of the established, the Art Fair showcases participants from initiatives that are key players in the creation of tangible change. As initiatives that pioneer integration, they play a pivotal part in restructuring and aligning ideas surrounding change in Africa.

Expect to see the likes of collectives and art organisations such as Village Unhu from Zimbabwe and the ZOMA Museum from Ethiopia.

Beyond the selection above, expect to be further culturally revitalised by a jam-packed programme that includes a gallery night, guided walkabouts and Meet The Artist sessions in various gallery booths. See the full programme here.

The Investec Cape Town Art Fair runs from Friday 15 February to Sunday 17 February 2019. For more information, visit investeccapetownartfair.co.za.

Looking for more on local art? Here’s what happened at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair in 2018.