State of the art in Joburg with the opening of the 10th FNB JoburgArtFair this week

Art is in the air as the annual FNB Joburg Art Fair returns to the Sandton Convention Centre for its 10th edition, from Friday to Sunday (8 – 10 September 2017).

Robin Rhode_Paradise08And with these celebrations, they welcome Robin Rhode back – the featured artist at the very first Fair in 2008 and now once again as 2017’s featured artist. Rhode’s most recent body of work resonates with the concept of ‘Looking Forward’.

“In preparing for the 10th anniversary edition,” says Mandla Sibeko, Director of the FNB JoburgArtFair, “we asked ourselves if we ever simply reflect on a scenario without imagining the potential outcomes, or envision a future without considering the past?

“So we used this natural moment of reflection and celebration as a framework for the focus of this year’s Fair – to interrogate how closely the acts of ‘Looking Back & Looking Forward’ are tied. We’ll be looking back at the legacy of Modern and Contemporary African Art while looking forward to the future possibilities of artistic practices, communities and markets on the continent.”

As featured artist, currently based in Berlin, Rhodes obscures obvious age, race or even gender from his imagery, favouring instead the constants of geometry, balance and colour theory.

For this exhibition, he moves out of his comfort zone which has been the anonymity of the public space outside to a much more intimate environment in the Convention Hall. He is interested in both himself as the artist and then the spectators, all of whom become part of the experience.

He describes the results of his art as eerily comforting avatars in the age of globalisation – iconography with which anyone may identify.

In the same spirit of ‘Looking Back’, Dr. Zoe Whitley of London’s Tate Modern, curates an exhibition entitled ‘Truth, or some other abstraction’, looking at how South African modern artists voiced their stories and how those stories shaped our contemporary understanding of history.

Borrowing works not often on public display from Gauteng’s collections, Whitley’s curatorial investigation of the modern South African narrative aims to demonstrate the importance that our past plays on present realities.

Lady Skollie_TG-WINDV-0014-B-300
Lady Skollie

In these gender sensitive times, the solo presentations are dominated by women with six of the eight artists being female.  South African artists include Sethembile Msezane – represented by Gallery MOMO (Joburg & Cape Town), Lady Skollie by Tyburn Gallery (London), Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi by the Mariane Ibrahim Gallery (Seattle) and Bronwyn Katz by blank projects (Cape Town). In Toto Gallery will showcase Ilana Seati, and SMAC Gallery will present newe work by Chemu Ng’ok’s. SMITH Studios will exhibit a unique presentation of the collective HOICK and ELA – Espaço Luanda Arte will present António Ole.

The Fair features over 60 exhibitions within 5 categories, including Contemporary and Modern Art, Solo Presentations, Limited Editions and Art Platforms. The selected galleries and organisations hail from 11 countries across Africa, Europe and the United States.

More detail:

  •       The Contemporary section will feature MOV’ART (Luanda), exhibiting for the first time here, while Addis Fine Art (Addis Ababa) and Circle Art Agency (Nairobi) both return for a second time. Other new exhibitors include 50ty/50ty (Joburg) in Limited Editions, NWU Gallery (Potchefstroom) and Under Ground Contemporary (Kampala) in Art Platforms.
  • Peju Alatise_photo 1
    Peju Alatise

    Nigerian artist, Peju Alatise, has been announced the 2017 recipient of the coveted FNB Art Prize. She received a cash prize as well as the opportunity to be showcased in a dedicated exhibition space at the Fair. She is a mixed-medium artist, poet and published writer who is passionate about addressing social, political and gender-related issues as well as capturing the joys and pain of womanhood in modern-life-African traditions.

  • New to  Fair, Cartier will be showcasing exceptional jewelry and watch creations, and a selection of artworks created by the students of Johannesburg-based art schools, The Artists Proof Studio and The Market Photo Workshop.
  • Esther Mahlangu (1)
    Esther Mahlangu

    Also exhibiting for the first time, BMW presents a BMW 7 Series by Ndbele artist Esther Mahlangu. Following her famous design 26 years ago, in 2016 she was once again commissioned to refine a BMW 7 Series, which was exhibited at the Frieze London art fair.

  • Lalela will host the Educational Programme and Artinsure will host the Art Tours. Professor Federico Freschi and Magkati Molebatsi will lead the walkabouts, giving art lovers an insight into some of the works on display.”
  • This year, the addition of a Film Programme will be headlined by the Centre For the Less Good Idea, the brainchild of acclaimed artist William Kentridge. On Friday, audiences can enjoy  specially curated selections of video works from their first season, which will be projected on a large outdoor screen in Nelson Mandela Square.
  • The Talks Programme  at the Theatre on the Square includes featured artist Robin Rhode and The Armory Show (New York) Director Benjamin Genocchio – each delivering a keynote – as well as a conversation that looks at The School of Anxiety, a project by Moses Serubiri, showcased at the 10th Berlin Biennal


The FNB JoburgArtFair takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre, Exhibition Hall 1, 161 Maude Street, Sandton

Opening times: Friday: 11am – 8pm; Saturday: 11am – 7pm; Sunday: 11am – 5pm

Tickets are R150 and can be purchased through

The Talks Programme and Film Programme are free and open to the public. No advance booking is required.

For more information, please visit: