Johannesburg has a dynamic contemporary art scene with top galleries in the area including Goodman Gallery, Everard Read Gallery, SMAC Gallery, Stevenson Gallery and David Krut Projects in Parkwood, Rosebank and Parktown.
Start the day in Jewel City, a newly re-developed art and design hub in central Johannesburg to enjoy a perfect cup of coffee and to admire the beautiful street art, or visit an artist studio at Ellis House or August house before taking a short drive to the Wits Art Museum in Braamfontein, home to an extraordinary collection of African art, including contemporary and historical art from across the continent. WAM offers a dynamic programme of events and exhibitions, whilst maintaining a fantastic permanent collection and houses the Jack Ginsburg centre for book art, an absolute jewel!
Start the day in at the Victoria yards, where they are building an eco-system where tenants thrive as a community, Victoria Yards presents a uniquely integrated urban complex that is as much about social development as it is commercial enterprise. Followed by a visit to the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), built over 100 years ago, the JAG is the oldest museum of its kind in the city, and boasts a collection of over 10 000 artworks.
You could also choose to omit the museums and visit artist studios or a private art collection in the morning.
We stop for lunch in Rosebank at either Marble or Momo Kuro. Momo Kuro is known for its entrance through a ‘secret’ stairwell and the décor is modern and minimalist with wrap-around glass windows affording some of the best views in Jozi.
After lunch, it’s time to explore the galleries, all located within close proximity of each other. Not all these galleries will necessarily be visited and will depend on interests and exhibitions showing during your stay in Johannesburg, as well as time available.
The order of galleries visited, will greatly depend on your lunch venue, and these spaces can easily be viewed within 20-30min. There are also many interesting smaller galleries that can be included depending on the interests of the clients.
Some of the galleries that may visited include:
Showcasing cutting-edge South African contemporary art and photography, Stevenson is known for its provocative and thought-provoking contemporary exhibitions and installations by young South African artists.
First established on a dusty street of Johannesburg in 1913, when it was a young mining town, this is Africa’s oldest commercial art gallery. The gallery moved from Johannesburg’s city centre to its current location in the late 1970’s and the present building is a celebrated icon of South African post-modern architecture. Everard Read Gallery has a full annual calendar of new exhibitions and showcases many top South African artists and sculptors. Across the road is sister gallery, the contemporary landmark Circa Gallery. Special sundowners can be arranged here (additional costs apply) in the beautiful entertainment space, on the rooftop of Circa gallery. Intimate artist interactions are also possible subject to availability and additional costs.
Representing both emerging and established South African, African and international artists, SMAC Gallery is one of South Africa’s most renowned contemporary art galleries with locations in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Johannesburg. The Joburg gallery, located in the Trumpet building, is the newest space, hosting memorable exhibitions by an exciting line-up of local and international artists.
One of the country’s leading galleries, the gallery’s focus is on African and diaspora artists who engage in a dialogue with the African context. Among some of the most famous artists represented by the gallery are William Kentridge, Sam Nhlengethwa and Haroon Gunn-Salie.
There are many more wonderful art destinations that can be exchanged with some of our suggestions above, for example, visit Victoria yards, instead of Jewel City and the Johannesburg Art Museum instead of the Wits Art Museum. You could also choose to omit the museums and visit artist studios or a private art collection in the morning, ending with the galleries in the afternoon.