2.20.19 / Cape Town / South Africa

Discovering South Africa’s Art Scene at the Cape Town Art Fair 2019

Our favorite works and artists to watch at the Cape Town Art Fair

  • Carolina Ramirez is our Miami-born, Cape Town-based South African Editor. For more from Carolina follow her at @LaCarolinda

    Positioned as the leading art fair in Africa, Investec Cape Town Art Fair comes back for its 7th and perhaps best year yet showcasing cutting edge contemporary art from galleries in South Africa, the African continent, and abroad. Growing up in Miami, I used to go to Art Basel and am constantly attending art fairs around the world for both personal and professional reasons and I must say I was beyond impressed by Cape Town’s art fair. Aside from the stunning works by local talent there was quite a handful of familiar faces among the international galleries as well, proving the Cape Town art scene continues to be one of the fastest growing in the world.

    Gallery: MOVART, Angola

    Headed by two lovely ladies- Janire Bilbao from Spain and Lauren Pozzo di Borgo from Miami, MOVART opened its brick and mortar space in 2017 as the only individually-owned commercial art gallery in Luanda, its focus on Angolan artists and raising their profiles on a global level.
    Angolan-born, Barcelona-based Angel Ihosvanny Cisneros debuted his new series, FRAGMENTED, depicting two different versions of Luanda – a bustling birds eye view of its townships and an electric colorful take on the city’s developed metropolitan center.

  • Distortion, Horizontal Lines 1, 2018

  • Sambilandscape 2, 2018

  • Gallery: Guns & Rain, Johannesburg

    Guns & Rain works with contemporary fine artists from southern Africa, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana from the young and emerging, to the already established.

    Chris Soal’s works focus on bringing to life mundane, everyday materials that are so common they have become invisible. While at first it may look like a furry wall installation or some sort of sea urchin relative, as you get closer you realize the entire piece is made of toothpicks!

  • For though clothed we still erode, those who we call our own (2019), Birch wood toothpicks held with polyurethane adhesive on ribstop fabric

  • Gallery: SMAC, Stellenbosch, Cape Town and Johannesburg

    No stranger to the contemporary art scene, SMAC gallery has focused on presenting the work of emerging and mid-career South African artists, as well as established international artists since 2007. The gallery expanded to its current flagship space in Woodstock, Cape Town, in 2014 and opened a third space in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016.

    When you first admire Pierre Vermeulen’s work, the last materials you imagine on these beautiful, oversized gold and linen canvas are his medium of choice- his own sweat and hair, his method of application is both imprinting and painting. In a chemical reaction, Vermeulen’s sweat essentially oxidises the gold-leaf imitate, a process that is intuitively and patiently timed by the artist.

  • Hair Orchid Sweat print, vermilion form with mirror

  • Hair Orchid Sweat print, gray form with white, 2019

  • Gallery: Art Twenty One, Lagos, Nigeria

    Art Twenty One is a space and platform dedicated to solidifying the growing contemporary art scene in Lagos, Nigeria

    Chroma: An Ode to J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, is an ongoing series which celebrates women’s hairStyles in Nigeria through a fanciful, contemporary lens by Medina Dugger, an art photographer from California, based in Lagos, Nigeria since 2011. The images are inspired by hair color trends in Lagos and by the late Nigerian photographer J.D. Ojeikere. If these vibrant colors don’t put you in a good mood I don’t know what will.

  • Yellowtip Twist

  • Gallery: Matter Gallery, Toronto, Canada

    Matter Gallery collaborates with a community of international art world influencers to deliver a collection of expertly curated contemporary art from Africa, Middle East, Asia and Latin America all with unique visual expressions.

    But a storm is blowing from Paradise, by South African artist Jake Michael Singer explores themes of “ascension and progress” and was perhaps one of the most jaw-dropping pieces of the entire fair. Born in the city of gold in 1991, Singer, fascinated by spatial arrangements, still finds his inspiration walking in the heart of downtown Johannesburg. Watch this space!

  • Large Crash, 2019

  • Augmentation, 2018 and Bissection, 2018

  • Gallery: Caroline Smulders, Paris France

    Caroline Smulders represents a number of artists both French and international, including sculptor-photographer Thierry Fontaine. This is his first exhibition in South Africa.

    Collection, a series that has been initiated in 2017, shows traditional African masks on which the artist, in a performative gesture, places white candles at the height of their eyes. Lit up, the white wax flows over the masks surface, like the tears caused by the memory of a dark past. Fontaine lives and works in La Réunion and Paris.

  • Collection 7

  • Collection 6, 2017-2018