An art fair is a great place to see lots of art in a single space. The sheer variety on offer makes the excitement unmatchable. The Cape Town Art Fair, opening this weekend, has embraced the variety. If you are interested in serious collecting the fair features big names like Stevenson, Goodman and Everard Read, galleries from the broader continent like Addis Fine Art and Afriart, and young upstarts like SMITH and Kalashnikov. They also have a section dedicated to editioned works, featuring excellent studios like Warren Editions and Artists Proof Studio.
However, the Cape Town Art Fair also has space for talks, special projects and big installations. Here are our top ten things to do when visiting the Cape Town Art Fair:
Thabiso Sekgala’s ‘Second Transition’
The late Thabiso Sekgala was a young artist with unmistakable talent. In the Tomorrows/Today section Goodman Gallery will be exhibiting photographs from his series shot around Rustenburg’s platinum mines. With mining as central to South Africa’s economy and inequality, this series feels particularly valuable.
Curated by Tumelo Mosaka, Tomorrows/Today features solo presentations by young upcoming artists. This year’s selection all connect to the urban environment in some manner. We are particularly excited to see the collages of Marcia Kure and Joël Andrianomearisoa’s fabric creations.
It’s great to have a section in a fair dedicated to unframeable, barely saleable installation work. We’re keen to see how this pans out, and particularly to what Mary Sibande shows, after her exquisite ‘The Purple Shall Govern’ show
King of my Castle
If you are up for a bit of whimsy with a critical edge, Michael Ilias Linder’s is presenting a one-man jumping castle in the Unframed section. Take off your leather brogues/pumps, jump around, feel loneliness and despair. Who could ask for anything more.
Breaking Barriers Talk
We’re big fans of Burning Museum and the other two collectives in this talk, the family group Dear Rabane 113 and the Soweto-based I See A Different You both have really interesting profiles. They’ll be chatting about access, audience and dissemination, but I suspect this may be a vibrant off-piste discussion.
The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Collecting Talk
With Piet Viljoen’s New Church Museum at the heart of the recent furore at the National Gallery, his conversation regarding collecting with Sean O’Toole promises to be fascinating. However, we would also highly recommend the ‘Curating Contemporary Art’ talk which features Gabi Ngcobo and the ‘True Stories’ conversation between Tracy Murinik and Candice Breitz.
A walkabout is like a press conference for art nerds, right? Wrong. This year’s walkabout are being given alternately by Andrew Lamprecht and Matthew King, both slightly eccentric and super smart. So maybe a bit like a press conference with art nerds. But you’re bound to get some insight and a little enjoyment out of their tours of the fair. Check the times here.
Donna Kukama Performance
Donna Kukama is a previous recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Performance Art. You can expect an evocative and thought-provoking presentation when she performs Chapter L: When rain clouds gathered. This performance follows on from Chapter C: The Genealogy of Pain and Chapter A: I, Too, both performed at the 32nd Sao Paulo Biennale in 2016. Kukama engages in history and narratives, so expect something profound and challenging
Hodgins at Past/Modern
Cape Town Art Fair had set aside a section for works of Modernity to contrast with the contemporary stuff. All the young ‘uns can get a lesson in colour and painterliness at Goodman’s presentation of Robert Hodgin’s work. Hodgins has always been a star, but his great sense of colour never seems to dim.
ArtThrob at the Editions Section
And don’t forget that ArtThrob will be selling editioned prints from our outstanding collection, including our very beautiful most recent entries by Zanele Muholi and Siemon Allen and works by William Kentridge, Candice Breitz, Sam Nhlengethwa and others. Also keep an eye on our Instagram, where we will be sharing highlights from the fair as we see them.