What To Look Forward To at FNB Art Joburg and LATITUDES Art Fair

WORDS Amelia Brown

With the debut of a new contemporary art fair, LATITUDES, coinciding with the new-look FNB Art Joburg (previously FNB Joburg Art Fair), there’s a lot to see in the City of Gold from 13 – 15 September 2019. 

“It’s only natural in big cities around the world, when you go to one art fair, there are always several other art fairs surrounding it,” explains FNB Art Joburg’s new owner Mandla Sibeko. “There’s Basel, and then there’s the fringe fairs around the city.”

In its 12th year, making it Africa’s oldest art fair, FNB Art Joburg remains true to its core of attracting and presenting established galleries, while LATITUDES gives space to peripheral and emerging galleries.

Of LATITUDES, co-founder Lucy MacGarry says, “The fair has been developed in close conversation with several African galleries, and sets out to nurture exchange between artists, galleries, collectors, curators and researchers throughout Africa and the diasporas. We aim to expand and strengthen audiences for contemporary art, as well as create a richer global understanding of African cultural production.”

Five African artists were invited to create limited-edition artworks to be sold as part of the LATITUDES’ VIP Programme package and translated into designs that wrap five luxury cars. Adejoke Tugbiyele, Sthenjwa Luthuli, Pebofatso Mokeona, Clint Strydom and Mbali Tshabalala’s original artworks will be featured on Daytona’s latest models – the McLaren 650S, McLaren 570S, Aston Martin Vanquish, Aston Martin DB11 and Rolls-Royce Ghost – which will be unveiled at the fair.

Mbali Tshabalala’s limited-edition artwork for LATITUDES Art Fair entitled Conversation Within.

“We’ve worked with David Krut Workshop and Daytona,” explains Lucy, “to create opportunities for moments of connection and surprise for members of the public, for unforeseen encounters between new collectors and new art dealers, and for networks to emerge organically across different constituencies in the art sector.”

Another of LATITUDES’ curated projects on show is Essay, which features work by artists who have not been widely acknowledged in South Africa to date, one at the beginning of their career, the other an overlooked master. This year those artists are Durban-based emerging talent Sthenjwa Luthuli and struggle veteran, artist, poet and academic Pitika Ntuli.

Spotlight profiles artists who work independently, without traditional gallery representation. Some of the artists on show are Khotso Motsoeneng, Lando Dlamini, Lebogang Mogul Mabusela, Zen Marie and Gina Waldman.

This year’s FNB Art Joburg sees more of an emphasis on the design and layout of the fair and a new approach to emerging galleries and the central space. The Gallery Lab is a 600 m2 pavilion where galleries and hybrid spaces converge under the curation of Nicole Siegenthaler, fair manager of FNB Art Joburg, and Banele Khoza, founding Director of BKhz. Preference has been given to showcasing new mediums, under-exhibited artists and current dialogues in the contemporary African art space.

On one of the walls of Eclectica Contemporary’s booth, Loyiso Mkize will be presenting an installation that pays homage to Winnie Mandela through painting, sculptural elements and text, and celebrating her complex, controversial and important legacy. On the adjacent wall, Hussein Salim’s evocative and vibrant paintings will create a counterpoint that captures the complexity of our stories.

Hussein Salim – The Big Wall II, 2019, Acrylic on Canvas, 150 x 180 cm

There will also be a tribute to the late Hugh Masekela to look out for with unique portraits of “Bra Hugh” exhibited alongside a curated show of interconnected work and live performances in collaboration with Art Joburg galleries to acknowledge the interplay of art and jazz in South Africa.

LATITUDES Art Fair will be held at Nelson Mandela Square, corner Maude and 5th Streets, Sandton, on Friday (11am – 9pm), Saturday (10am – 6pm) and Sunday (10am – 5pm), with tickets starting from R120 online for a day pass.

FNB Art Joburg is happening at the Sandton Convention Centre, Exhibit Hall 2, on Friday (11am – 8pm), Saturday (11am – 7pm) and Sunday (10am – 5pm), with tickets starting from R120 online for a day pass.

Discounts are available at both fairs for students and pensioners and tickets are also available at the doors. To find out more, visit LATITUDES Art Fair and FNB Art Joburg