Winter will soon be upon us and as a result we will be seeing less and less events happening. That doesn’t now mean that there is nothing happening in the city, on the contrary, there are many gallery and museum exhibitions happening year round that could make for an interesting alternative. I have decided to put together a list of galleries and museums that I think would be worth checking out. The list will feature (in no particular order) some popular spaces and others not so well-known that I find interesting.
The Joburg branch of the Stevenson gallery can be found at 62 Juta street in Braamfontein (or in Woodstock in Cape Town). The gallery opened as Michael Stevenson in Cape Town in 2003, and subsequently partnered with David Brodie in Johannesburg in 2008. The gallery moved to Juta Street in Braam in November 2010. The gallery is jointly owned by its directors who, in Joburg, include Federica Angelucci, Joost Bosland, David Brodie, Andrew da Conceicao, Sophie Perryer and Michael Stevenson. The gallery hosts solo and group exhibitions that “engage with contemporary art practice in South Africa as well as Africa and its diaspora”. Having hosted the likes of Pieter Hugo and recently Zanele Muholi, the Stevenson is certainly one that should be visited. Guy Tillim’s ‘Joburg: Points of View‘ opens tomorrow.
Make sure you check out the Stevenson when you get a chance.
2. Goodman Gallery
The Goodman Gallery is a well known gallery located on Jan Smuts Avenue in Parkwood. The gallery was established by Linda Goodman (now Givon) in 1966, Linda sold the gallery to Liza Essers in 2008. The Goodman Gallery is one of the first galleries that comes to mind when I, and certainly most Joburg natives, think about galleries in general. With a history that includes the seminal Art Against Apartheid exhibition in 1985 and hosting shows that spoke out against the repressive apartheid regime to the infamous “Spear” painting by Brett Murray you are sure to find works of contemporary art that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also significant.
For any more information regarding exhibitions or the gallery itself follow the link to the gallery’s website here.
3. CIRCA Gallery
Located at No.2 Jellicoe Avenue in Rosebank is CIRCA which is housed in a wonderfully designed building which is a work of art itself. CIRCA, which is sponsored by Deutsche Bank was originally intended to be an extension of the already existing Everard Read Gallery which was established in 1913. CIRCA came about in 2009 but the idea for the extension originated in the late 1980s. Mark Read approached Pierre Swanepoel of StudioMAS Architects to help make the idea into reality. What we get from this is an aesthetically appealing and unmissable building that stands as more than just an extension but as its own building which functions both as a gallery space and and events venue. CIRCA is a gallery where you can enjoy music, film, talks, natural history exhibits, and contemporary art.
Link : CIRCA
The Museum Of African Design is situated in the ever-expanding Maboneng Precinct on Commissioner Street in Jeppestown. The museum officially opened in October 2013 and has hosted numerous gallery exhibitions and events. The museum space is a cavernous space which was converted from an automotive “panel beater” into a place where the likes of iseeadiferentyou have recently had exhibits as a part of Native Nostalgia to the Southern Guild Annual Showcase which was held between the 25th of October and the 3rd of November 2013, and more recently Fashioning Africa which brought some of the continent’s most exciting contemporary designers to Johannesburg between the 20th of March and the 27th of April this year. Showing now until the 8th of June is Mirror Images, an exhibition by Niall Bingham showing his new body of work which includes paintings, installations, photography, prints, drawings and a short film.
MOAD is run by director Aaron Kohn, founder and CEO of Propertuity Jonathan Liebmann, and a large volunteer advisory board which includes the likes of Dan Magaziner, Assistant Professor at Yale University, Hlonipha Mokoena, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University and Kevin Dumouchelle, Associate Curator of Arts of Africa at the Brooklyn Museum.
For even more information checkout the MOAD website here.
5. Wits Arts Museum (WAM)
The Wits Arts Museum is a fairly new space on the corner of Bertha and Jorissen Streets in Braamfontein. The original museum was established 1972 as the Gertrude Posel Gallery with a donation of funds by Gertrude Posel for the creation of a professional art gallery. The gallery collection grew so large that in 2002 it was decided that the collection should be moved to its current location in the Wits Cultural Precinct. The gallery has been at this modern building since May 2012 when it was opened with an exhibition named WAM! Seeing Stars. The museum is overseen by a Board of Control chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) of the Wits School of Art and comprising representatives from university and broader interest groups.
Previous exhibitions at WAM include ‘Survey’ by Jeremy Wafer which happened between the 4th of September and the 3rd of November 2013. Currently, Jodie Beiber is having an exhibition at WAM called ‘Between Darkness and Light’ until the 20th of July.
For more information about WAM, go here.
6. Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG)
Situated in Joubert Park on King George Street in Johannesburg, The Johannesburg Art Gallery is one of the oldest galleries in the country having been open to the public since 1915 just after the start of World War I. JAG consists of 15 exhibition halls and sculpture gardens. JAG is run by the City of Joburg
The museum features a mixture of classic to contemporary pieces of art with the likes of Rodin, Dante, Gabriel Rossetti, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro having their work exhibited next to the likes of South Africans such as Gerard Sekoto, Walter Battiss and Alexis Preller. Currently at JAG is JAG SNAG: End Of Exhibition by Stephen Hobbs which is on until the 27th of July this year.
For more information on JAG go here.
7. FADA Gallery, University of Johannesburg
The FADA (Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture) Gallery is situated on the University of Johannesburg’s Bunting Road campus. Similarly to the Wits Art Museum above, the FADA gallery is located on a university campus but this does not mean that it only exhibits works by students. The gallery not only features work of artists but is also used to showcase the work of designers. Exhibitions at the gallery have included a retrospective look at the work of Monty Sack.
Currently being shown at the FADA gallery is an exhibition by various artists at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture called ‘Deconstructing Dogma: an exhibition of transgressive Christian iconography in South African art’. This exhibition started on the 6th of May and ends on the 29th.
8. Gallery MOMO
Gallery MOMO was set up in 2003 in Parktown North. The gallery is run by Monna and Lee Mokoena and it features contemporary photography, sculptures and paintings by both South African and international artists most notably Mary Sibande who’s work The Purple Shall Govern was featured from the 27th of June until the 7th of July in 2013 and Mark Lewis’ photography exhibition The Grand Hotel, Beira which was featured from the 30th of May until the 17th of June, also in 2013.
Find out more here : Gallery MOMO
9. Standard Bank Gallery
Found on the corner of Simmonds and Frederick Streets in the city is the Standard Bank Gallery. The Standard Bank Gallery opened in 1990. “The Standard Bank Gallery was the first institution to bring original works by a 20th century European artist to South Africa with the Marc Chagall exhibition in 2000 followed by Joan Miro and, in 2006, the record breaking Picasso and Africa exhibition. South Africa’s own internationally acclaimed Marlene Dumas had her first solo exhibition on home soil in 2007.”
The gallery is run by the Standard Bank Arts department and is a great example of the marriage between the worlds of Art and Commerce. The gallery will be hosting a portrait exhibition from the 24th of June to the 6th of September.
Find out more about the gallery here
10. ABSA Art Gallery
The ABSA Art Gallery is another example of the marriage between the creative and corporate worlds. Find out about it here.
The Nirox Gallery Space is part of the Nirox Foundation which is a private foundation set in 15 hectares of an extensive nature reserve in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. The gallery space is 45 minutes outside of Joburg. Currently showing at the gallery is Nicole Levenberg’s SAMPLE (I-VIII).
GeotheonMain is part of the Goethe-Institut in South Africa. The gallery opened on the 8th of May in 2009 on 245 Main Street in Johannesburg (at Arts On Main). The gallery is a place where both aspiring and established artists are provided with a space to show their work and also the possibility to independently develop experimental art projects.
Currently showing at the gallery is the multimedia performance project THE IMPERMANENCE MUSEUM. This exhibition explores notions of impermanence in the context of the ever-changing cityscape of Johannesburg.
13. Gallery AOP
Gallery AOP can be found at 44 Stanley at Braamfontein Werf. The gallery opened in 2007 and it specialises in hand-printed, limited edition artworks, drawings and sculptures. The most recent exhibition at the gallery is Johannes Phokela’s Dossier which ended on the 10th of May.
14. Rooke and Van Wyk Gallery
Rooke & Van Wyk was founded 6 years ago by Gavin Rooke. Roelof Petrus Van Wyk joined as a curator after doing an MA in Visual Culture at Goldsmiths College in London last year. The gallery can be found at Unit 21 of the Frost Street Lofts in Frost Avenue, Joburg. The gallery focuses on photography and photo-based painting, as well as graphic art. Previous exhibitions at the gallery include Portraits by Lakin Ogunbanwo in November last year and Albus which is a collaboration between photographer Justin Dingwall and model Thando Hopa.
Link: Rooke & Van Wyk
15. iThuba Arts Fund Gallery
Found on 100 Juta Street in Braamfontein is the iThuba Arts Fund Gallery. iThuba Arts Fund started in 2011, founded by Citiq Group, and is more than just an art gallery. iThuba is focused on providing a platform for emerging artists based in and around Joburg.
Link: iThuba Arts Fund
16. David Krut Projects
David Krut Projects is an art, design and project gallery space at 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Joburg. This isn’t the only David Krut gallery space in the city though as you can find another one at Arts On Main, and further afield at Montebello Design Centre in Newlands, Cape Town, and in Chelsea, New York. The space offers exhibitions in not only visual arts but fashion and design projects as well.
Link: David Krut Projects