Investec Cape Town Art Fair
February 18 – 20, 2022 at
Cape Town International Convention Centre
Art has contemporaneity built into its very core; always moving forward with the present. Even the oldest of masters can cast their art practice in new art movements, opening eyes to the past in a new manner. The most avant-garde of creations test the limits of the art-lover’s experience.
Of course, the global pandemic turned the entire art world upside down, significantly impacting museums, galleries and other places where we usually revel in the creations of the talented. The global pandemic has forced our experience of art to change and adapt the way in which we interact and trade with art has evolved.
A globally influential operation like Investec Cape Town Art Fair was not going to let this challenge of a bold, new environment go unchallenged. As a seasoned fair, with nine years of expertise, the newest iteration of the popular cultural Cape Town highlight has reinvented itself boldly and bravely. This could, in fact, be the blueprint of all future art expos, merging the digital with the physical space.
From Friday, February 18, the three fair days in the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), is geared for a new experience, combining the physical with the digital, underlining the contemporaneity of the art experience.
Fittingly, the theme for the 2022 fair, ‘Connect through Art from Africa and the World’, speaks to the necessity of being connected and relevant. Connecting art, art lovers and collectors, this major South African event has a well-established international reputation, showcasing the sometimes-undiscovered talent of the continent. This year more galleries from Africa have been invited than ever before and excitement is running high.
As usual, the fair extends well beyond a mere, highly prestigious exhibition of art – whether older masterpieces or vividly dynamic avantgarde work – with the presence of prominent galleries and a variety of dynamic cultural endeavours. There are also presentations and talks that enhance and encourage the interaction of art, curators, experts and, of course, the keen art-loving public.
Visitors to the physical presentation in the CTICC, and now to the digital space as well, have become increasingly conscious of the aesthetic and entertaining cultural platform Investec Cape Town Art Fair offers. Over the years an increasing number of prestigious dealers and galleries from around the world have benefitted from the high-end collector network that Investec Cape Town Art Fair offers.
Director of Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Laura Vincenti, says the art fair keenly awaits old and new friends and partners this year, providing a platform to connect, re-connect and interact with one another.
“The return of the physical event offers some reprieve and restoration for the global art community. We believe it will be an emotionally, spiritually, and physically rewarding experience.”
Peta Dixon, head of sponsorship at Investec, which has been the title sponsor of the fair since 2018, agrees. “We believe art can break down barriers and bring people together. So, we are delighted to welcome back a face-toface art fair combined with a digital edition that could bring the world of art to a potentially larger, more diverse audience.”
Artshell is the sophisticated digital podium that is a crucial adjunct to the CTICC. Investec Cape Town Art Fair is entering a new, buoyant era that has rendered the fair as a digital and physical event.
Well-established sections return, while some new headliners extend the viewing adventure.
A new alluring and somewhat mysterious section of note is the ALT section, showcasing alternative galleries invited to show the effect of the pandemic on how artists engage with the real and more pressingly, virtual worlds of art.
ALT also locks in with the shift to different ways of showcasing – exploring the ‘alternative’ to the traditional, both in manner and means. The focus is cutting edge, offering artist presentations that exist outside of the conventional exhibition space and showcase work in a nonconventional way. This provokes dialogue on art representation and notions of the physical versus virtual connection.
Artists under the spotlight in ALT include the dynamic multi-media explorers Daniel Malan and Alex Coetzee of The Plot online gallery, Willy Karekesi of KomezArt and Colijn Strydom whose eclectic, ultra-contemporary vision is showcased on the Untitled website.
The curators of the popular SOLO section are director Laura Vincenti and Exhibitors & Special Projects Liaison, Mia Louw. It features selected young and exciting artists working locally and abroad with dazzling new work.
This year the focus is on exploring how artists have reacted to intimacy, isolation and introspection caused by the pandemic. Another angle explores artistic practice as a result of exchange and collaboration.
New work by artists such as Luyanda Zindela (South Africa) of SMAC Gallery in South Africa, Thebe Phetogo (Botswana) of Guns and Rain in South Africa, Brett Seiler (Zimbabwe) of Everard Read in South Africa and Osvaldo Ferreira (Angola) of THIS IS NOT A WHITE CUBE in Angola, will be shown.
Other established sections making up the total experience include Tomorrows/Today, curated by Nkule Mabaso and Luigi Fassi, Past/Modern curated by João Ferreira, and Editions, which, like the main part and the Cultural Platforms and Special Projects subsections will be curated by João Ferreira.
Tomorrows/Today – the platform for future budding talent – features artists such as Aldo Salucci, Feni Chulumanco, Mavis Tauzeni, Serigne Ibrahima Dieye, Bev Butkow, Michaela Younge, Philiswa Lila and Abdus Salaam. Anart jury will award a cash prize to the artist with the most exciting presentation in Tomorrows/Today. One of the fair’s highlights, it sets the bar for artists with ambitions to be leaders of tomorrow.
The always well-noted Past Modern is guest curated by João Ferreira and lights up modern masters such as Cecil Skotnes, Christo Coetzee, Edoardo Villa, Fred Page, Hannes Harrs, Irma Stern, Judith Mason, Lucas Sithole, Marion Arnold, Robert Hodgins, Tinus de Jongh and Willem Boshoff. This section offers a relook at greats from the past. The latter brings a historical context to the whole Investec Cape Town Art Fair project through art by modern masters.
Cultural Platforms gives space to cultural institutions and non-profit organisations, and Special Projects are offerings that urge public engagement and discussion. Performance art events bring a particular colourful energy to the three-day live art fair, accentuating the inventiveness of contemporary talent.
The Editions banner covers leading print galleries and workshops that specialise in prints, multiples and editions. These offerings are often an entrance for starter art collectors.
Art appreciators will follow the presentations in the main section where some 100 galleries and dealers represent more than 300 artists from around the world, showcasing the contemporary state of international art.
Among the international galleries are representations from Rome and Milan, Italy; Paris, France; Kampala, Uganda; Casablanca, Morocco; Sidi bou Said, Tunisia; Berlin, Germany; Nairobi, Kenya; Harare, Zimbabwe; Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Dakar, Senegal: Cairo, Egypt; Brussels, Belgium: Barcelona, Spain; Luanda, Angola and Lisbon, Portugal.
The celebrated Talks Programme will take place in four sessions on the Friday
A favourite ritual to the art fair’s festivities, Gallery Night, featuring Cape Town’s red buses, will kick off the weekend merriment on the Friday evening.
* Visitors to physical events must take note of the Covid-19 precautions which include that all visitors wear masks indoors and present proof of vaccination or of negative Covid-19 test results. Social distancing will be the norm and there will be sanitising stations.
** Ninth edition of Investec Cape Town Art Fair, taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre will be open to visitors from 11am to 7pm. Tickets are available for online purchase on webtickets.
* ** More information about Investec Cape Town Art Fair and the Covid 19 health and safety protocols, please visit: www.investeccapetownartfair.co.za