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CTAF 2017: A diverse display of contemporary art

The upcoming Cape Town Art Fair (CTAF) will offer a diverse display of contemporary art from leading local and international galleries.

Over 75 exhibitors from established and emerging art centres including London, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Lagos, Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Harare, Nairobi, Accra and Dubai are participating in CTAF 2017. Taking place in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 17 to 19 February, the fair will also show a variety of sections dedicated to large-scale installations, emerging artists and online art platforms.

CTAF: They came from across the water by Lwandiso Njara
CTAF: They came from across the water by Lwandiso Njara

The list of exhibitors includes galleries which represent 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 include: 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).


CTAF Untitled (Blue Red) by Landon Metz
CTAF Untitled (Blue Red) by Landon Metz


Increasing in size and scope, CTAF 2017 will include 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. The works will be strongly interactive, encouraging fairgoers to enter into a more stimulating dialogue with contemporary art.


CTAF Triba Mark Babajide Olatunji MBE
CTAF Triba Mark Babajide Olatunji MBE


Returning to CTAF is 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, TOMORROWS/TODAY is a bold prediction of the future of African artistic talent.

CTAF 347 Talking Walls Onyis Martin
CTAF 347 Talking Walls Onyis Martin


DIGITAL PLATFORMS is 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 will 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. Also at CTAF, in a physical booth as part of MAGAZINES & PUBLICATIONS, will be newcomers Chimurenga magazine and the recently founded Adjective magazine. Returning to CTAF are Art Times and Art Africa which will once again have a booth in MAGAZINES & PUBLICATIONS, as well as Artthrob, which will be in the EDITIONS section with prints by well-known South African artists including Zanele Muholi, Candice Breitz and David Goldblatt.

CTAF Timekeepers Norman O'Flynn
CTAF Timekeepers Norman O’Flynn


CTAF2017 will also include a section entitled PAST/MODERN, displaying modern Southern African artists such as Robert Hodgins in Goodman Gallery’s booth, Alexis Preller and John Mohl presented by STEVENSON, Kevin Atkinson and Erik Laubscher by SMAC Gallery, and Cecil Skotnes and Edoardo Villa by WALL Gallery (Cape Town).

Barbed Wire Paradise Liza Grobler. Photo Credit Nienke de Wet.
Barbed Wire Paradise Liza Grobler. Photo Credit Nienke de Wet


In the CULTURAL PLATFORMS section of the fair, non-profit art institutions and initiatives will display their art collections. The non-commercial area will provide organisations including the AVA Gallery (Cape Town), Bag Factory (Johannesburg), and international exhibitors Espace Luande Arte (Luanda) and Village Unhu (Harare), with a showcase opportunity that will pique the interest of fairgoers, collectors and curators. LALELA, an organisation offering art education to at-risk youth, will be included in the section, as well as at a satellite venue in the V&A Waterfront where they will further engage with the public.

The CTAF runs from 17 to 19 February 2017. Tickets are R140 for adults, R100 for students and pensioners and free for under-12s – tickets are available from Computicket. For more information, visit

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