Eight things not to miss at Turbine Art Fair 2017

Now in its fifth year Turbine Art Fair (July 13-16) has become an annual city fixture attracting thousands to downtown Joburg over three wintry days. If ever you had dreams of collecting art this is a great place to start … with almost 50 galleries and artist studios presenting works focused on affordable and investment-worthy art with a ceiling price of R50,000.

Turbine Art Fair organised by The Forum Company, known for its remarkable events and venues, is also a fun social event with a packed programme of talks, documentary film screenings, special exhibitions and installations all complemented by a superb venue – the spectacular Turbine Hall in Newtown – and imaginative gourmet fare courtesy of the organisers The Forum Company who are famed for their memorable events and delicious food.


In addition to the stunning selection of artworks on sale from participating galleries, here’s our pick of eight highlights of this year’s Turbine Art Fair programme that you won’t want to miss:

The Casspir Project

Artist and filmmaker Ralph Ziman’s awe-inspiring The Casspir Project is a repurposed South African apartheid-era military vehicle, the Casspir, that has been entirely covered with intricate beadwork. Created by a group of more than 60 African beaders, the beads alone are said to weigh around one tonne. Find the Casspir parked in the courtyard of Turbine Hall. Truly a sight at which to marvel. Read more about The Casspir Project and the amazing story of its creation here.

Anton Taljaard: Pierneef, A Collector’s Passion

Sponsored by ArtInsure and leading auction house Strauss & Co, the fair hosts an impressive exhibition of works by South African master JH Pierneef from the collection of foremost collector Anton Taljaard, the figure behind Rosebank’s groundbreaking Keyes Art Mile development. Taljaard has been collecting Pierneef’s works since he was a teenager and this exhibition showcases a rarely seen and splendid selection of the artist’s work including etchings, water colours and oil paintings that is one of the biggest private collections in the county. The exhibition is complemented by a series of contemporary prints based on Pierneef’s originals created by young artists at top Joburg print studio Artist Proof Studio. Taljaard will be interviewed on Saturday as part of the #arttalks programme by Wamted Online editor Jacquie Chemaly. Book your ticket for the talks programme events (free) while booking your entrance ticket to the fair.

TAF for kids 

On Saturday and Sunday the fair hosts a supervised kids art corner where the little ones can get busy creating their own masterpieces. Also don’t miss the artist-led walkabouts for children taking place at 11:00 and 12:15 (for children aged 6-11 and for those aged 12 and upwards). These are run on a first-come first-served basis so it is recommended that you reserve a spot online in advance when you book your ticket.

The Strauss & Co online auction showcase

Leading South African auction house Strauss & Co is showcasing artworks from its current online auction of South African and International Art and Decorative items at the fair. The auction features work by dozens of leading South African artists including names like William Kentridge, Walter Battiss, JH Pierneef and Norman Catherine. After admiring the works bid online at www.straussart.co.za/auctions/online

Fresh Produce

Every year Turbine Art Fair hosts Fresh Produce, a showcase of brand new works by 15 exciting young, up-and-coming South African artists sponsored by The RMB Talent Unlocked programme. While all art at at Turbine Art Fair is highly competitively priced, the Fresh Produce exhibition is always a particularly good place to pick up works by exciting artists before they become famous.

The Emerging Painters Graduate Show

This exhibition specially curated for the event showcases some of the best post-graduate painting from Fine Arts departments across South Africa. Curated by artist Jessica Webster in collaboration with Amber-Jade Geldenhuys and MC Roodt, the title of the exhibition is ‘touch’ and the exhibition features paintings that emphasise texture. Another great area of the fair to pick up works by undiscovered new artists.

Documentary film screenings at the TAF Artinsure Talks 

The TAF talks programme includes discussions on buying and collecting art led by leading collectors, curators and celebrated artists such as Nelson Makamo and Usha Seejarim (make sure to book for these online when you buy your tickets as space is limited). This year there are also two documentary film screenings on the TAF Talks programme themed around collecting art. Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, sheds new light on the life of one of the world’s most celebrated art collectors (showing Saturday at 11:30 and Sunday at 15:15), while Herb and Dorothy, shows how you “don’t need to be a Rockefeller” to collect art”, detailing the story of an elderly working class couple from New York, who have amassed one of America’s most important collections of non-conformist art from the 1960s (Sunday at 13:30).

Hannelie Coetzee’s Watermense

@lizamoregallery will be showing This installation of recycled doors at ##TAF17 by @hanneliecoetzee. They are remnants of Coetzee’s various activations around the flow of natural water springs throughout the city. The figures Coetzee chose to timeously engrave on these found-doors are people the artist met and interacted with on hikes along the natural streams crisscrossing Johannesburg. Through recycling discarded doors from regenerated buildings in Johannesburg, Coetzee aims to urge viewers to rethink how mankind will live with limited natural resources well into the future. #turbinehall #turbineartfair #installationart #nottobemissed #contemporaryart #southafricanart #artfair #artistsoninstagram #makingastatement #visualstatements #interactiveart #seeyouthere

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Joburg art gallery Lizamore & Associates presents another chance to see Hannelie Coetzee’s 2016 exhibition and installation Watermense at this year’s fair. To create this exhibition, which focuses on the use, abuse and distribution of a precious natural resource, water, Coetzee began by walking the many streams that crisscross the city, meeting with the individuals and communities who live alongside them. She then collected recyclable materials such as old doors and found maps to use as the canvases on which the portraits of these ‘water people’ are printed and engraved.

Turbine Art Fair 2017 is open: Fri July 14 11:00–20:00, Sat July 15 10:00–18:00, Sun July 16 10:00–17:00.

Tickets cost R90 per day (R100 on the door). Weekend tickets are available. Seats for the talks and film programme are limited and must be reserved when booking. Take note that Turbine Art Fair is a completely cashless environment. The fair takes place at The Forum Turbine Hall at 65 Ntemi Piliso St, Newtown. 

Buy your tickets on webtickets here, where you will find the full daily programmes.

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