Art City: September’s 12 must-visit Art Week events in Joburg

Manifestations of Self by Sethembile Msezane, represented by Gallery MOMO at FNB JoburgArtFair 2017.

From an exploding gallery scene to a riot of street art, Joburg is an art city and September is one of the best months to get a taste of what’s on offer. Running in tandem with the annual FNB JoburgArtFair, the annual Art Week Joburg affords an extended opportunity to engage with an impressive range of contemporary art from South Africa, and across the African continent.Timed to coincide with the huge FNB JoburgArtFair, Art Week Joburg takes place at various locations across the city and each day of the week brings with it different exhibition launches, open studio events, artist walkabouts and art parties. To make your life easier we have shared our highlights.

1. FNB JoburgArtFair

Celebrating it’s tenth year, FNB JoburgArtFair attracts up to 10,000 people over one weekend each year for a major art and social event showcasing some of the most impressive contemporary art from South Africa, and the continent including sculpture, painting, photography, prints and multimedia installations. This year’s art fair boasts more than 60 different exhibitors, including all of South Africa’s leading contemporary art galleries such as Goodman Gallery, Gallery MOMO, Everard Read and Circa galleries, Stevenson and SMAC Gallery as well as a host of visiting African galleries.

WHERE: Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton Central

WHEN: From September 8-10.

2. Warren Editions Pop Up at 44 Stanley

Cape Town’s Warren Editions printmaking studio presents this pop-up exhibition at Joburg’s delightful 44 Stanley complex. The exhibition features some of the latest print works by an artist list that includes Brett Murray, Diane Victor, Mia Chaplin, Michael Taylor, Sanell Aggenbach and Wilhelm Saayman. Alongside the exhibition, there’s also a wide selection of earlier prints made by artists at Warren Editions print studio available to browse and buy.

WHERE: 44 Stanley Ave, Milpark

WHEN:  From September 8 to October 28.

Call and Response I⠀2015⠀by Brett Murray from Warren Editions

3. Kudzanai Chiurai at Constitution Hill 

Zimbabwean-born photographer and artist Kudzanai Chiurai grapples with the intricacies of colonialism and its effects on African nations in his thought-provoking and theatrically posed montages. In his newest series We Live in Silence, Chiurai recreates scenes from the 1967 film Soleil Ô intercut with visual references from popular culture and art historical sources to stage alternative colonial histories and futures that reject the idea that Africans should think, speak and understand language like their colonisers. The new exhibition is staged in two parts – the first part is currently on show at Goodman Gallery in Parkwood, while a second exhibition of images and four new films goes on display at Constitution Hill.

WHERE: Constitution Hill, Braamfontein

WHEN:  From September 9 to October 14. Exhibition opening party Saturday September 9 from 18:00. 

Still from a new film by Kudzanai Chiurai at Constitution Hill

4. FNB Joburg Art Fair Talks Programme 

In conjunction with the FNB Joburg Art Fair, Sandton’s Auto & General Theatre on the Square hosts a programme of art talks on the afternoon of Saturday September 9. In particular look out for a talk led by this year’s Featured Artist Robin Rhode who will be discussing his work (at 13:30), and a panel discussion led by Dr. Zoe Whitley (Research Curator at London’s Tate Modern) in conversation with South African artists Penny Siopis, Sue Williamson and Mmakgabo Mapula Helen Sebidi (at 14:30).

WHERE: Auto & General Theatre on the Square, Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton Central 

WHEN: Saturday September 9 from 13:00-16:45.

Artwork by FNB JoburgArtFair 2017 Featured Artist Robin Rhode

5. First Thursdays at Keyes Art Mile 

Keyes Art Mile hosts its monthly First Thursdays street party with plenty of food trucks, pop up bars and late night art gallery openings. Make sure to pay a visit to the cocktail bar 4pm at Mesh in the landmark Trumpet building to try their new signature Cocktail of the Month, which is inspired by the contemporary artwork on display in the bar.

WHERE: Keyes Art Mile, 19 Keyes Ave, Rosebank 

WHEN: Thursday September 7 from 17:00.

Mesh Club, Keyes Art Mile, Rosebank

6. Fak’ugesi Digital Innovation Festival

A festival designed for programmers, bloggers, cyber-visionaries, and the terminally digitally curious. This year’s Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival is held under the theme ‘Brave Tech Hearts Beat As One’ with the vision to ‘claim creative technology as the beating heart of Africa ‘. Through a series of seminars, talks, exhibitions, workshops, performances, demonstrations, parties and more, the festival invites its guests to own their innovation in the technological new age.

WHERE: Tshimologong: Digital Innovation Precinct, 45-47 Juta Street ,Braamfontein

WHEN: From September 6-16.

Light installation from Fak’ugesi Digital Innovation Festival 2016

7. Assemblage Open Studio Day

As part of this special open day, which marks the studio’s 7th birthday, downtown artist studio Assemblage (based next to the lively 1 Fox Precinct) presents a group exhibition, drawing session and live jazz performance. This is also a great opportunity to meet local artists, learn more about their creative process and buy artworks directly. Bring your own drinks, paper and materials.

WHERE: 7 Alexander Street, 1 Fox Precinct, Ferreraisdorp

WHEN: Sunday September 9 from 11:00-17:00, drawing and jazz from 14:00-16:00.

An artist’s studio at Assemblage art studios

8. Joburg Fringe at Victoria Yards

This year’s Joburg Fringe exhibition takes place at Victoria Yards in Lorentzville, a new development that has transformed an old industrial complex into an urban garden, artist studios and workshop spaces. The Joburg Fringe exhibition features an alternative collection of artworks by local young artists and art collectives, all of which is for sale. The Joburg Fringe exhibition has been running since 2008 in tandem with Art Week Joburg and aims to provide an alternative platform for upcoming artists who are looking for space to affordably exhibit new works.

WHERE: Victoria Yards, 24 Victoria Rd, Lorentzville

WHEN: The Joburg Fringe opens on Wednesday September 6 at 16:00. On show until Tuesday September 12.

Jonathan Wood, Lesotho, 2016, one of the artists featured at this year’s Joburg Fringe

9. Lunchtime Talk with Strauss & Co

Enjoy a light lunch and sparkling wine, while learning about the workings of the art market from art specialist Wilhelm van Rensburg at this free lunchtime talk hosted by leading auction house Strauss & Co. Highlights from the September Strauss & Co Online Auction (which opens on Friday September 8) will be on view, and the talk includes tips on how to bid online and buying artworks on paper. Booking is essential, RSVP at or +27 72 896 7706 to attend.

WHERE: Strauss & Co, 89 Central Street Houghton

WHEN: Friday September 8 at 12:30. 

Officers & Gents VII by Robert Hodgins, digital print, part of the upcoming Strauss & Co online auction which runs from September 8-18

10. James Delaney – Downtown Joburg through artist’s eyes

Artist James Delaney engages with the regeneration of the inner city’s impact on his artworks, illustrated through several works from his collections including lithographs and silkscreens, in a pair of talks hosted at the beautiful Piece@Ellis House showroom in the Ellis Park precinct.

WHERE: Piece@Ellis House, 23 Voorhout Street, New Doornfontein. 

WHEN: Saturday September 9 at 14:00 and Sunday September 10 at 11:00. 

James Delaney

11. The unofficial Art Fair after party at The Tennis Club

The Tennis Club, a social club known for its off-the-wall underground parties located in the old Ellis Park Tennis Clubs. hosts the ‘Unofficial Art Fair After Party’ in collaboration with Braamfontein’s edgy Kalashnikovv Gallery. Entrance is free and there are DJs playing all night.

WHERE: The Tennis Club, corner of Bertrams Street and Miller Street, Betrams

WHEN: Saturday September 9 from 20:00.

Artwork by MJ Turpin from Kalashnikovv Gallery

12. Explore Troyeville and Ellis Park’s art galleries 

Explore the many new (and old) art galleries and studios dotted in and around the Ellis Park precinct. Look out for an exhibition of matchbox art at Spaza Gallery (open from 10:00 Sep 6-10) and drop in on Sunday for freshly baked bread, homemade soup and vegetarian curries. Also drop by Twilsharp Studios to see their new exhibition When the Clock Strikes Midnight which is inspired by our current ‘post-apocalyptic age’ (open until Sep 30) and catch new exhibitions at Art Eye Gallery, Room and the Dead Bunny Society in Ellis House.


Spaza Gallery 19 Wilhelmina St, Troyeville, tel. +27 11 614 9354. Open daily from 10:00 September 6-10.
Ellis House (Art Eye Gallery, ROOM, Dead Bunny Society) 23 Voorhout St, New Doornfontein. Open daily September 6-10.
Twilsharp Studios 40/42 Gordon Rd, Betrams, tel. +27 79 885 3187. Visits are by appointment.

When the Clock Strikes Midnight at Twilsharp Studios

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