With a world-class museum (the biggest public art space to open on the continent), annual art fairs in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and vibrant gallery scenes that have been steadily growing over the last decade, South Africa has become the continent’s art and design hub.
Compared to art capitals like Dakar (in Senegal) or Lagos (in Nigeria), where West African artists have had a far greater presence thanks to proximity to Europe, and as a result of the global boycott of South Africa’s economy and culture due to apartheid that ended in 1994, the nation has had to play catch up. Since then, its market has become more professional, with rising numbers of commercial galleries that are more visible at international art and design fairs, and museums and collectors locally and worldwide increasingly acquiring South African art and design.
Pictured: Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA)
Text: Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle