What to See at Cape Town Art Fair 2017


By BLANC Modern Africa


Cape Town Art Fair kicks off Friday, February 17, at the Cape Town International Convention Center, and ends Sunday. Here are a few things to see this weekend at the fifth edition of the fair.

Cape Town Art Fair.

Cape Town Art Fair.




This section of the fair showcases emerging artists from across the continent represented by an equally global lineup of galleries (Serge Attukwei Clottey, represented by Gallery 1957 from Ghana, is one example). Each artist in this group has a solo exhibition, and one artist will receive a jury-selected award at the end of the fair.



Starting Sunday afternoon, four videos by two artists, Modisakeng and Chipaumire, will play back-to-back in a loop until the end of the fair. Both videos explore the historical representation of the black body. Modisakeng's Inzilo references mourning and "adapts traditional rituals as a metaphor for narrating the experience of collective grief associated with the losses suffered because of apartheid." Chipaumire's film Afro Promo #1 King Lady explores the lack of black superhoeroes in a world where black bodies are under constant threat.

Mohau Modisakeng,  Inzilo , 2013 (video still).

Mohau Modisakeng, Inzilo, 2013 (video still).



A new addition to this year's fair is 'Unframed', a special project section dedicated to large sculptures and installations. The works are selected on the basis of being strongly interactive; encouraging fair-goers to enter into a more stimulating dialogue with contemporary art. One of the installations likely to sprout a wait line is artist Michael Linders' life-size and functional bouncy castle, titled King of My Castle (2017). 

All of the four participating galleries in Unframed are located in Cape Town. Artist Katharien de Villiers, who, like Linders, is represented by SMITH gallery, will present a human car wash (titled, The Carwash: a Declaration of the Independence of the Imagination and the Rights of Man to His Own Madness, 2017) as part of Unframed.

Michael Linders,  King of My Castle , 2017 (installation view). Artsy. 

Michael Linders, King of My Castle, 2017 (installation view). Artsy. 



Artsy compiled a list of artworks between $1,000 and $5,000 that's sure to be appreciated by fairgoers on the hunt for their first art purchase or even by those adding to a collection. The list includes artists like Gerald Machona, Joel Andrianomearisoa, and Zander Blom, who have exhibited all over the world. Make your selections early.

Joel Andrianomearisoa,  Grey Skinny Boy , 2016. Sabrina Amrani Gallery.

Joel Andrianomearisoa, Grey Skinny Boy, 2016. Sabrina Amrani Gallery.



Some artists exhibiting at Cape Town Art Fair also have solo exhibitions with their respective galleries on view now, like Thania Petersen (Everard Read/Circa Gallery), Lou Ros (Christopher Moller Gallery), and Jody Paulsen (SMAC Gallery). Maximize your visit to Cape Town by seeing these artists under one roof.