Contemporary art throughout Africa continues to flourish and 2019 is looking more exciting than ever. Thursday 14th February sees the start of The Harlem Fine Arts Show (HFAS) - the largest travelling African Diasporic art show in the United States. Investec Cape Town Art Fair kicks off this coming Friday and showcases the most important galleries from across the continent, including Goodman Gallery, Addis Fine Art, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Omenka Gallery, First Floor Gallery Harare... We are particularly intrigued by This Is Not a White Cube in Angola’s capital city, Luanda, which promotes local artists and is working hard to be present at this year’s international fairs…Read More
Filtering by Category: African Art
Art is about being stirred – identifying creatively with an idea and responding to something which is there to engage us. Modupeola Fadugba’s exhibition “Dreams from the Deep End” is a body of work which both captivates visually and completely absorbs from a topical perspective. Currently on display at Gallery 1957 in Accra, we were lucky enough to be there for the opening, which coincided with the 2018 Chale Wote Street Art Festival in Jamestown…Read More
Once a thriving safari destination, Zimbabwe’s political instability and dire economy under Mugabe’s rule didn’t exactly do any great wonders for its appeal. However, over the last few years it has started to emerge once again, most significantly in 2016 when Mugabe reopened Victoria Falls International Airport. Although tourists already flocked in droves to see the falls from the more impressive Zimbabwean side, this really helped put it back on the map. The international press were hot on the heels of the country’s latest upscale tourism developments including the openings of Wilderness’s Little Rukomechi in Mana Pools and Matetsi Lodge near Victoria Falls. Fast forward a couple of years and Singita Pamushana is due to reopen this month following extensive renovations and the addition of two new two-bedroom suites. Another of our favourite safari brands, Great Plains Conservation, are soon to open Mpala Jena Camp and Mpala Jena Suite on a private concession within the Zambezi National Park. They are also launching a 6-night exploration safari experience in Mana Pools National Park.
So what other reasons should you visit Zimbabwe? This is a country emerging from the ashes in many respects. It has always been a jewel in Africa’s crown but was stifled under a hugely oppressive regime and economic disaster. At long last there is the opportunity to reinvent itself and we’re excited to see what that entails. Galleries such as First Floor Gallery Harare have helped set the scene for independent international contemporary art and we’re certain this will continue to expand and thrive. Already the country's great talent is showcased at world-renowned art fairs such as the Venice Biennale. Zimbabwe Fashion week takes place annually at the end of August, there’s a lively food scene, music, crafts… but most of all Zimbabwe is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful countries on the continent with some of the best guiding.
In the northwest part of the country, Hwange National Park is renowned for its elephant population, substantial concentrations of game and for being the largest national park in the country. The mighty Victoria Falls are widely considered to be best seen from the Zimbabwean side due to the greater number of viewing points. Lake Kariba is spectacular and one of the largest artificial lakes in the world. From here the Zambezi continues east through the lower Zambezi valley with Mana Pools National Park to the south - one of Africa’s most exquisite parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Zimbabwe combines perfectly with Botswana and/or Zambia for those with extra time to spare. Please contact us at email@example.com to plan something beyond your wildest dreams.
Everyone is talking about it. Art critics and enthusiasts, visitors to Cape Town, taxi drivers… At the airport I was stopped by a local Capetonian, who recognising my gift bag from their pop up shop, enthused that he’d now visited four times in total since the opening in September. It’s been hailed as “Africa’s Tate Modern”, a “museum for social change” and the continent’s “most important museum opening in a century”. Never more fitting is the saying “your reputation precedes you” given the volume of press coverage on the opening of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA).
The museum has sparked its fair share of controversy, from who founded it, to where it’s located, the artists it represents, the comparison to Western art institutions, and the name itself after founder Jochen Zeitz – former CEO of Puma. But isn’t that the point? To create a focus, a subject for debate, something which shifts perceptions and generates interest from the outside world.
We loved it. In fact, we’d visit Cape Town again in a heartbeat just to spend longer exploring the converted 1920s grain silo designed by Thomas Heatherwick and now the largest collection of contemporary African art. The building’s redesign is a masterpiece of epic proportions. Once used to store maize, its existing concrete tubes were converted into spaces to display art. There are five floors of gallery spaces and a cavernous atrium which allows a flood of light through the building.
The art is electrifying. All the more so given where in the world we are. Spaces are filled with some of the great artists of today’s Africa, including Cyrus Kabiru, El Anatsui, Ghada Amer, Jeremiah Quarshie, Kudzanai Chiurai, Mohau Modisakeng, Zanele Muholi, Ndijeka Akunyili Crosby and Nandipha Mntambo, to name a few. Wangechi Mutu’s film is particularly compelling as well as the animated film by William Kentridge set in the exploited industrial and mining landscapes around Johannesburg. For us, it is a monumental celebration of contemporary African art. It stands tall, both physically and in the magnitude of its achievement as one of the greatest museums, not just in Africa but the world.
An interest in contemporary African art has been on the incline for the last 10 years or so but never has it experienced such dynamic momentum as is currently underway. Last year saw the first edition of ART X Lagos, a new art fair designed to greater connect Nigeria to the contemporary art scene both internationally and across Africa. Biennales like those in Casablanca, Marrakech, Dakar, Kampala, and Bamako are gaining more recognition. For the first time ever, Nigeria had its own pavilion at this year's 57th Venice Biennale, represented by Victor Ehikhamenor, Peju Alatise and Qudus Onikeku...Read More