WHATIFTHEWORLD’s Justin Rhodes and Ashleigh McLean and Southern Guild’s Trevyn and Julian McGowan have announced a collaborative new space in Rosebank’s Keyes Art Mile precinct.
The 300-square-metre contemporary exhibition space, located in the StudioMAS designed Trumpet building, is due to open this August and heralds an intriguing partnership between contemporary art gallery WHATIFTHEWORLD, and collectible-design platform Southern Guild, both firmly established in Cape Town.
Each gallery will maintain its distinct individual identity, while simultaneously provoking a new exchange between artists and designers and introducing a new creative dialogue. This local manifestation of a global movement toward blurring the line between art and design will ultimately result in a curatorially focused intimacy between artists working in the two arenas.
‘Johannesburg is an influential business and cultural hub, and its geographic location and reputation for creativity make it the perfect location for this exhibition space that will be a reflection of what’s happening art- and design-wise in Africa,’ says Justin Rhodes, adding that artists represented will hail from as far as Senegal, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Mali. ‘What we’re excited to show is a continental perspective.’
Says Trevyn McGowan: ‘We each have strong, unique viewpoints, a desire to change the status quo, and as our galleries and our artists have matured we have found we share an approach and, more and more frequently, an audience and client base. This opportunity to combine our voices, to explore the intersection of art and design, promises results greater than the sum of our parts.’
There will be an independent calendar of programming, but for their inaugural show, the two galleries have purposefully curated a synergetic collection of work that couldn’t exist anywhere else.
The first show opens in August and will present work by Nigerian photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo, Zimbawean sculptor Moffat Takadiwa and visual artist Athi-Patra Ruga alongside limited-edition furniture by leading African designers such as Cheick Diallo, Hamed Ouattara and the late Babacar Niang as well as Gregor Jenkin, Porky Hefer and Dokter and Misses.