With February being art month in Cape Town, art enthusiasts will gather in the mother city for an array of gallery openings, exhibitions and art festivals. From BazArt, to Design Indaba, visitors and residents will be spoiled for choice throughout the month of February, and if you are confused about which shows to attend – we have put together an extensive list of ten must-see festivals and exhibitions.
Investec Cape Town Art Fair
Investec Cape Town Art Fair is the largest contemporary art fair in Africa. With over 100 galleries, 16,000 visitors and 4000 invited guests, it offers a platform for collectors, galleries, curators, artists, and art journalists from around the globe to create connections at the forefront of contemporary art.
The Art Fair recently announced the participating exhibitors in its eighth edition, taking place from 14 to 16 February 2020 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. They will once again offer a unique cross-section of the art market, representing the forefront of contemporary art globally.
An increasingly large contingent within Investec Cape Town Art Fair is made up of prominent galleries from around the globe. These galleries represent exciting, established and emerging artists with a presence in museums, biennales, and important private collections around the world.
Read more here.
The Stellenbosch Triennale 2020, the brainchild of the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust and will present a remarkable collection of artistic talents to construct an event in which contemporary African art will hold a critical dialogue with the society that fosters and exhibits it.
The theme Tomorrow There Will Be More of Us, which was conceived by Chief Curator and Artistic Director Khanyisile Mbongwa, runs as a thread throughout the seven multidisciplinary platforms. All will provide meeting points for engagement with the divided past, the collective present and imagined futures.
The curator’s exhibition has been conceived by Mbongwa, with co-curator Bernard Akoi-Jackson, and it will feature 20 multidisciplinary artists, from a range of African countries.
The Stellenbosch Triennale takes place from 11 February to 20 April 2020.
Read more here.
Design Indaba’s yearly lineup is a highly anticipated event on the creative calendar. Having established itself internationally as one of the premier multidisciplinary programmes in the world, it consistently draws the globe’s luminaries to its stage.
Now in its twenty-fifth year, the annual conference will once again take place early in the calendar – kicking off the year with a high-octane programme of dynamic talks, exciting exhibitions, and engaging workshops. It will run from 26 to 28 February 2020 at the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town. Additionally, it will be broadcast live via simulcast to major cities around the country, allowing design devotees in Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Potchefstroom to take part in this must-attend event.
Ticket sales for the Design Indaba are officially open. Tickets can be bought through Webtickets.
Read more here.
BazArt – International Public Art Festival
The streets of Salt River are once again ready to host the 2020 International Public Art Festival (IPAF). Returning for its fourth installment with ‘Digitalisation’ as a theme, the festival will be a reflection of the artistic views of the modern age and the ubiquitous presence of the internet, digital technologies and their seamless integration into modern life. It will promote a discussion on a more sustainable future within the era of the digital revolution.
As an initiative by NGO BAZ-ART, this unique event showcases the best local and international mural artists. Adding to the 100 murals already painted, artists will create giant artworks on walls in Salt River for the benefit of the community and visitors to enjoy and learn about.
The festival will take place from 12 to 16 February, and will act as the opening of Art Month in Cape Town.
Read more here.
BKhz – ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’
On 6 February, BKhz Studio will be presenting ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’, an experience of BKhz in Woodstock, Cape Town. The chosen location for the pop-up space for BKhz’s first group show is perfectly situated a stone-throw away from gallery strongholds such as Stevenson, Goodman Gallery, and Blank Projects. The location has to do with the entity’s aspiration to flourish among the country’s main galleries and one day establish itself as their peer. The show is a result of a partnership between BKhz and Houtlander, with support from the American Hardwood Export Council, French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and Oresol.
In an announcement post on Instagram, BKhz shared: “Titled Blue Is the Warmest Colour, the group show takes its title [from] the 2013 French film and graphic novel of the same title. Here a teenager who is uncertain of her sexuality cathects with an art student who opens up her up to an unrestrained existence that welcomes desire and passion.
Throughout the film, the colour blue is a focal point that is seen in the lighting of rooms, the clothes they wear and the love interest’s hair and eyes. Much like the melancholic Blue Period that Pablo Picasso went through, the colour blue stands as a symbol of the intense emotion, curiosity, sadness and passion that the protagonist is going through during a period focused on self-discovery. As the intensity wanes, so too does the film’s blue.”
‘Kwantlandolo’ – A Solo exhibition by Yonela Makoba
From 6 to 22 February, Orms Circle will present ‘Kwantlandlolo’, a solo exhibition by the Orms circle selected artist, Yonela Makoba. The exhibition, which is co-curated by Anelisa Mangcu, will be an introduction to Tangerine Water who, through this body of work, prays for ‘kwantlandolo’, ‘tabula rasa’; a clean slate.
Find more information here.
Lady Tait Returns to Kirstenbosch
From 16 January to 15 March 2020, Kirstenbosch and the Botanical Society will exhibit over 60 exquisite watercolour paintings by Lady Cynthia Tate (1894-1962), a proficient botanical illustrator with a passion for South African flowers. This special exhibition named; Full Circle: Lady Tait Returns to Kirstenbosch is the first of its kind and simply a must-see.
Curated by Mary van Blommestein of the University of Cape Town’s Irma Stern Museum, the exhibition promises to be one of the art industry’s top events in 2020.
The Lady Tait exhibition is being held in the Richard Crowie Hall located nearest to Gate 2 at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Rhodes Drive, Newlands. Kirstenbosch and the exhibition will be open every day from 09h00 to 18h00. Entry to the exhibition is free, but garden entry fees apply. BotSoc members with membership cards will gain free access to the garden and exhibition.
Read more here.
I LIKE HISTORY, BUT I LOVE FICTION
This exhibition, taking place at Christopher Moller Gallery in Gardens features a selection of 10 new mixed media works on canvas that draw inspiration from art history and questions its authenticity. It does this by playfully posing the question, is art history accurate if parts of it have been neglected and purposefully removed?
The exhibition will run from the 31st of January till the 20th of March.
Read more here.
Kevin Mackintosh – Hero
More than 200 renowned artists and arts leaders from South Africa and around the world will gather at Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre Centre on 8 and 9 February to attend the prestigious Rolex Arts Weekend.
The Arts Weekend, a series of public events – talks, readings, exhibitions, and performances, including two world premieres – will feature the work of the 2018−2019 protégés of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative with their mentors.
The two-day celebration is the culmination of the current cycle of the programme, which pairs master artists with emerging artists in several disciplines for a period of creative exchange in a one-to-one mentoring relationship.
Book your tickets here.
Vusi Beauchamp – Prisoners of Waar
99 Loop Gallery is pleased to present multi-talented artist Vusi Beauchamp’s solo exhibition titled Prisoners of Waar. Beauchamp’s mixed media paintings explore the socio-political critique with a distinctive, yet humorous voice.
In popular media and myths embedded in patriarchal ideology, Prisoners of Waar tests the unwavering stigma and exploitation of black African bodies.
The illustrated bodies and narratives within Beauchamp’s work aim to reveal the colonial domination of black bodies and spiritual identity, the relentless demonising of immigrants, political refugees, religious indoctrination, cultural practice and xenophobia within the context of the South African, African and European landscapes.
The exhibition opened on 23 January and will continue until 22 February.