"A thing of beauty is a joy forever ...”

John Keats

South Africa has internationally recognised art galleries and acclaimed artists. Names like Irma Stern, Maggie Laubser, William Kentridge, Judith Mason, Marlene Dumas, Penny Siopis, Gerard Sekoto and Sam Nhlengethwa are but a few that are known in art circles all over the world.

Many artists work and live around Cape Town and Johannesburg and some in rural areas.

ArtnAfrica’s art specialist takes our guests on private visits not just to galleries, but also to private art collections and artist studios where guests have the chance to interact with the artists themselves. 

A few examples of artists and studios:

Wilma Cruise is a South African sculptor and visual artist. She works mainly with fired clay in her renderings of life-sized human and animal figures. Her sculpture installations and exhibitions are often accompanied by works on paper. She has also completed several series of print editions. Several of her ceramic sculptures have been successfully translated into bronze editions. She has taken part in the Havana Biennale, the Florence Biennale and the prestigious 7th Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale in Seoul, Korea.

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Karel Nel is one of South Africa’s most distinguished and internationally respected artists. He was a Fullbright student (1988-89) at the University of California, Berkeley and he is the resident artist of COSMOS, where he works with a group of astronomers on a project to map a two degree field of the universe.

Marguerite Stephens weaves exceptional tapestries from wool and works with artists like William Kentridge and Robert Hodgins, creating interpretations in wool from their artwork.

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Gerhard’s work was selected for the Venice Biennale 2013 and is shown at international art fairs, including Art Basel, Art Basel (New York) and Frieze (London). He has completed several sculpture commissions around Johannesburg and he has extensive experience in theatre as scenographer, director and filmmaker.

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Wim is best known for busts which he creates out of carved books and encyclopedias. He has exhibited globally at amongst others the Venice Biennale, the Goteborg Biennial in Sweden and La Maison Rouge, Paris and has received prestigious awards throughout his career.

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Liz Loubser is one of the most well-known goldsmiths and jewellers in South Africa. She graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in 1982 with a degree in Fine Arts, majoring in Jewellery Design. She has run Studio Loubser for 25 years, specialising in contemporary and personalised jewellery, and after merging with Tinsel Gallery, now provides a platform for contemporary jewellers to display their work, and curate a selection of the best work in the country. Most of their jewellery is one-of-a-kind or limited edition, and handmade to the highest standards of workmanship.

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A few examples of art galleries:

Kim Sacks represents a multitude of Southern African rural and urban crafts people. She is a ceramicist who has worked with clay for over 45 years and has trained many South African ceramic artists.

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Everard Read Gallery is the oldest gallery in Johannesburg and includes the new contemporary gallery, Circa. Circa is recognised as one of Johannesburg’s outstanding buildings and forms part of the Keys Art Mile, which is a group of galleries, shops and restaurants with interests in art and design.

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The Goodman Gallery, founded in the era of Apartheid, offered an impartial stance that did not reflect the politics of the day. William Kentridge, considered being one of the best artists in the world, is represented by Goodman.

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Contemporary art from South Africa and other parts of Africa is displayed at Stevenson. Artists include Wim Botha, Nicholas Hlobo, Pieter Hugo, Zanele Muholi, Nandipha Mntambo, Serge Alain Nitegeka, Deborah Poynton, Robin Rhode, Penny Siopis, and more. The Stevenson Art Gallery regularly takes part in international art fairs such as Art Basel, Frieze New York and Art Hong Kong.

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The brand new Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria has a huge variety of the most important South African and African artists and invites visitors to engage with art, explore, learn and understand.

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The Norval Foundation is a centre for art and cultural expression, dedicated to the research and exhibition of 20th-and 21st-century visual art from South Africa and beyond. They are the custodians of Gerard Sekoto Foundation, the Edoardo Villa Estate Collection and the Alexis Preller Archive.

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Amatuli has a huge selection of art from all over the African continent. Everything is original, handcrafted and created with skills long forgotten.

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