More than 98 local and international exhibitors from 20 different countries, including 17 first-time participants, will be taking part in the ninth edition of Investec Cape Town Art Fair, when it returns to its physical space at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), from Friday 18 – Sunday 20 February.
This year visitors can look forward to the added extras that come with attending the fair in person: parties, talks, hosted debates, a bookshop, a space to hang out with artists and curators, drink bubbly or grab Something South African from Crystal Birch, Pichulik, Marigold, Missibaba or Moonbasket at the Fair’s inaugural pop-up store.
Organisers have also ensured that the experience doesn’t stop at the CTICC, so whether you’re taking a walk, enjoying a talk, or an evening bus tour of the Mother City’s most vibrant galleries, here are 10 reasons to come and enjoy this year’s Investec Cape Town Art Fair experience:
1. A Digital Divergence
First things first. International travel restrictions needn’t stop anyone from experiencing some of the best contemporary art south of the equator. If you’re not able to physically be in the Mother City for the actual event, you can still enjoy everything that the fair has to offer thanks to the Fair’s reformulated hybrid model. The sophisticated Artshell digital podium adds a whole new dimension, allowing for an intimate online experience between viewers and artworks, collectors and exhibitors. Simply click and explore!
How to navigate the fair online:
The public can have access to the digital fair from 18 – 20 February 2022 for FREE.
Visitors to the digital fair do not have to register.
Go to investeccapetownartfair.co.za site, and click on the button at the top of the home page (it is clearly marked) which will take you to the digital fair site.
Go to the homepage to see the list of galleries where you can click to see artists and artworks and their listed events.
2. ALT Makes Its Debut
ALT is eye-catching and adventurous. An exciting new addition to the 2022 line-up, the focus is fresh, offering artists outside of the conventional exhibition space a chance to showcase work in a nonconventional way in the art fair setting. This year it’s dedicated to projects that reflect the ways in which the art world has had to adapt in response to the global shift from physical to virtual. Among the artists who have been selected for ALT are Daniel Malan (South Africa), Guy Simpson (South Africa) and Alex Coetzee (South Africa) all of The Plot online gallery, Colijn Strydom (South Africa) of Untitled in South Africa, Rharha Nembhard (South Africa) of THE FOURTH (South Africa) and Willy Karekezi (Rwanda) of KomezART in Rwanda.
3. The New Narratives
A strong Talks Programme, which provides all with an opportunity to share and learn, has always been a key part of Investec Cape Town Art Fair and this year is no different. Curated by Art Momentum, it takes place on Friday, 18 February from 11h00 to 18h00 at the Westin Hotel. Artists, curators, gallerists, and specialist collectors will take to the stage to share and explore various topics and encourage debate and discussion. The topics this year (in order of the talks) are Preserving, Interpreting and Appropriating Heritage for a More Equitable Future; Art & Design for the Future: Towards Radical and Creative Ecologies; Autobiography, Self-Representation, and Shifting Narratives: Ashraf Jamal in Conversation with Thania Petersen and Billie Zangewa; and Into the Metaverse: The Impact of NFTs on the Art World.
4. Paint The Town Red
The primary purpose for visiting an art fair may be to see – or buy – art, but they’re also famously good places to party. The enormously popular Gallery Night returns with the famous Cape Town Red Bus taking visitors on a night of gallery hopping in the Mother City. If you desperately want to rub shoulders with the who’s who of the African art world over a glass of bubbly or two, be on the lookout for the venue for Gallery Night’s official after-party.
Red Bus departure details and the full list of galleries that will be visited can be found on the Gallery Night Facebook page and or the Investec Cape Town Art Fair website.
5. Bringing Back The Favourites
Investec Cape Town Art Fair is also bringing back the popular SOLO section, which features selected young and vibrant artists and dazzling new work.This year, the popular SOLO will explore “how artists have reacted to intimacy and introspection caused by the pandemic, as well as the effect that exchange and collaboration have on artistic practice as a whole”. Among the participating artists are Johannes Phokela (South Africa) of Eclectica Contemporary, Brett Charles Seiler (Zimbabwe) of Everard Read, Thebe Phetogo (South Africa) of Guns & Rain, Luyanda Zindela (South Africa) of SMAC, Osvaldo Ferreira (Angola) of This is Not a White Cube in Angola, Duduzi (DuduBloom) and More (South Africa) of Berman Contemporary in South Africa.
6. See Tomorrow’s Artists Today
Showcasing sometimes underrepresented talent is the DNA of Investec Cape Town Art Fair, especially talent from Africa. The aim of Tomorrows/Today is to showcase emerging and under-represented artists who are expected to make waves in the future. It’s open to those working in Africa and beyond and the ongoing theme is one of transformation and experimentation. This year it is curated by Nkule Mabaso ( Curator, Fine Artist and Culture Consultant, South Africa) and Luigi Fassi (Artistic Director, MAN-Contemporary Art Museum, Italy). The artists include Aldo Salucci (Italy) of A.MORE Gallery, Feni Chulumanco (South Africa) of EBONY/CURATED, Mavis Tauzeni (Zimbabwe) of First Floor Gallery, Philiswa Lila (South Africa) of Melrose Gallery, Abdus Salaam (South Africa) of THK, Bev Butkow (South Africa) of Guns & Rain and Michaela Young (South Africa) of SMAC. The artist with the most exciting presentation wins a cash prize and will be announced on Friday, 18 February at 12h30 at the TOMORROWS/TODAY booth at CTICC.
7. Walk The Talk
Always a highlight, the public walkabouts offer a great way to showcase outside studios and allow visitors to meet artists and listen to them talking about their passion. On Saturday 19 February, budding art collectors can learn about Starting an Art Collection with art advisor and avid art collector Amy Ellenbogen. Later in the afternoon, curator Andrew Lamprecht will talk Understanding Contemporary Art. On Sunday 20 February, Lamprecht will host The SOLO Section, sharing further insights into the featured SOLO Section artists and their response to the pandemic. This is followed by Female Artists, a curated tour of noteworthy female artists locally and internationally. An essential insight into some of the most important voices in the industry led by Founder of Under The Aegis & Curator Anelisa Mangcu.
8. Modern Masters
Guest curated by João Ferreira (Art Dealer and Art Advisor), Past/Modern adds historical context to the Fair through gallery-curated presentations of works of art by modern masters, such as Christo Coetzee, Edoardo Villa, Hannes Harrs, Irma Stern, Judith Mason, Paul du Toit, Gregor Jenkin, Cecile Skotness, Lucas Sithole, Marion Arnold, Robert Hodgins, Tinus de Jongh, and Willem Boshoff.
9. Culture Club
Cultural institutions and non-profit organisations that nurture and support artistic production in the region through exhibitions and artist residencies have the opportunity to present their work to the public. Participants this year include A4 Arts Foundation, Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, Evolving Art, LALELA, Norval Foundation, Zeitz MOCAA, and more.
10. Newbies And Navigating
Think you need millions to buy art, think again. Aimed at budding collectors, the Editions section of the Fair is where you’ll discover specialist prints and multiples. Leading print studios and galleries take centre stage and exhibitors include 50ty/50ty, ArtThrob and South Atlantic Press (all Cape Town), Artist Proof Studio, Dale Sargent Fine Art and LL Editions Contemporary (all Johannesburg), Asele Institute (Nimo, Nigeria) and Samuel Maenhoudt Gallery (Brussels, Belgium).
With so much to see, visitors will be spoiled for choice and so Laura Vincenti, director of Investec Cape Town Art Fair has put together some pointers on how to make the best of both events which can be found on the Fair’s website.
Wherever you wander at the fair, don’t be afraid to talk to exhibitors, gallerists and other experts. Their aim is to inspire enthusiasm about the artists they represent, not just sell their work. Most are genuinely excited by the pieces they showcase and will be delighted to discuss them, whether or not you plan to pull out your wallet.
The ninth Investec Cape Town Art Fair will run from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 February at the Cape Town International Conference Centre from 11h00 to 19h00.
Tickets can be purchased via the Webticket link on www.investeccapetownartfair.co.za