The Cape Town Art Fair (CTAF) wowed patrons with an amazing display of contemporary art from leading local and international galleries. Attendance numbers increased by 70% for this annual art event.
Over 75 exhibitors from established and emerging art centres including London, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Lagos, Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Harare, Nairobi, Accra and Dubai participated in CTAF 2017. Held in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from February 17 to 19, the fair also showcased a variety of sections dedicated to large-scale installations, emerging artists and online art platforms.
The list of exhibitors included galleries which represented the quality and multiplicity of the thriving contemporary African art scene: Stevenson (Cape Town; Johannesburg), Goodman Gallery (Cape Town; Johannesburg), Galerie Cecile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Ivory Coast), Blank Projects (Cape Town), SMAC Gallery (Cape Town; Johannesburg), Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana), Addis Fine Art (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), BLOOM Art Lagos (Nigeria), Everard Read (Cape Town; Johannesburg) and GalleryMOMO (Cape Town and Johannesburg), among others.
Beyond the African continent, galleries from throughout Europe included: Galleria Massimo Minini (Brescia), Primo Marella Gallery (Milan) and Galleria Continua (San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins and Havana) from Italy; British galleries Tiwani Contemporary, October Gallery, TAFETA and Art First, all from London; as well as Galerie Pascal Janssens (Gent, Belgium), Galerie Seippel (Cologne, Germany), ARTCO (Aachen, Germany), Galerie Caroline Smulders (Paris, France) and Sabrina Amrani(Madrid, Spain).
Increasing in size and scope, CTAF 2017 included a new section, ‘Unframed’, dedicated to ambitious, large-scale works created by GalleryMOMO artist Mary Sibande, Everard Read artist Liza Grobler, and Katharien de Villiers and Michael Linders from up-and-coming gallery, SMITH. These interactive works, encouraged fairgoers to enter into a more stimulating dialogue with contemporary art.
Returning to CTAF was the ‘Tomorrows/Today’ section, a curated cross-section of the most exciting emerging artists from Africa. Made up of solo presentations by artists including Serge Attukwei Clottey (Gallery 1957, Accra), Helen Teede (Showcase Gallery Dubai in collaboration with First Floor Gallery Harare), Jackie Karuti (Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi), Joël Andrianomearisoa (Sabrina Amrani, Madrid), Onyis Martin (ARTLabAfrica, Nairobi), Sandile Zulu (SMAC Gallery, Cape Town and Johannesburg) and others.
‘Digital Platforms’ was a new addition to the Fair’s Magazine & Publications section, intended to bring together the world’s most relevant voices in art journalism. Using a digital interface, fairgoers were be able to engage and interact with online art platforms including: Artnet and Contemporary And (C&) from Berlin; Africa Is A Country and True Africa from New York; Mousse Magazine from Milan; and Between 10 and 5 from Cape Town.