The eighth edition of the annual FNB Joburg Art Fair returned to Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre on the 11th of September. The three day event featured over 50 exhibitors from seven countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The FNB JoburgArtFair is known for bringing together artists, curators and collectors for the conceptual visioning of contemporary African art and the 2015 edition featured curated exhibitions by contemporary galleries, alongside critically acclaimed Special Projects, Talks, Performances and Film Screenings.
Artsy, the Fair’s online partner opened up the experience to a global audience by hosting a dedicated preview of exhibitor booths and editorial content and a digital catalogue which gave collectors the opportunity to make direct sales inquiries on artworks directly through the site.
Candice Breitz was this year’s Featured Artist. Internationally acclaimed, Breitz combines the modes of film and performance in her installation Him + Her which marked its inaugural showing in South Africa.
This year’s FNB Art Prize, which awards a young artist the financial means and opportunity to create a new project for the Fair, was juried by eminent African curators Koyo Kouoh (Senegal) and Bisi Silva (Nigeria). South African artist Turiya Magadlela (born 1978) took he honours this year and presented a large-scale installation comprising a grid of steel institutional beds arranged in a cell-like constellation, made over in correctional service fabrics. The installation entitled, Imihuzuko showcased a unique look at the state of South African prisons and brought into sharp focus the realities of present-day incarceration.
The 2015 Advisory Committee members consisted of Koyo Kouoh (RAW MATERIAL COMPANY, Dakar), Bisi Silva (Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos), Jay Pather (Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, Cape Town), Karolina Ziebinska-Lewandowska (Centre Pompidou, Paris) and Zoe Whitley (TATE, London).
Participating galleries included: Goodman Gallery, Stevenson, WHATIFTHEWORLD, SMAC Gallery and Everard Read, together with London-based Tiwani Contemporary; La New Gallery from Madrid; First Floor Gallery, Harare and Omenka Gallery, Lagos. The ‘Young Galleries’ section is dedicated to galleries founded in or after 2012. These galleries included the Kalashnikovv and Eyethu Galleries from Joburg; SMITH from Cape Town and Sulger-Buel Lovell from London. The ‘Art Platforms’ section provides not-for-profit arts entities an opportunity to participate and for the first time we have a ‘Limited Editions’ section dedicated to printmaking studios and galleries. In another new initiative, we introduce ‘Gallery Solo Projects’ in which a select number of galleries will present curated solo exhibitions specially conceived for the Fair.