Showcasing large scale contemporary art at FNB Art Joburg’s MAX pavilion

FNB Art Joburg is a major new contemporary art fair that celebrates Joburg’s incredible diversity and the city’s role as a cultural hub for southern Africa, through a packed programme of art exhibitions and installations led by the continent’s top contemporary art galleries.

Happening at the Sandton Convention Centre from September 13 to 15, one of the biggest highlights of FNB Art Joburg is MAX, an area of the fair that is dedicated to showcasing massive sculpture, paintings, video, large-scale installations and live performances that it would not ordinarily be possible to present at an art fair.  

FNB Art Joburg director Mandla Sibeko says that MAX was in part inspired by Art Basel’s large-scale installation section Unlimited. “After attending Art Basel these last years and seeing our South African and African artists in their large-scale installation section, Unlimited, we needed to bring that content home to our fair as well. It is a proud achievement for us and our artists to include these types of works in their own section, MAX”.

Featured artists at MAX at FNB Art Joburg

The works of six artists will be featured in the MAX area: Igshaan Adams, Brett Murray, Misheck Masamvu, Jody Paulsen, Zanele Muholi and Athi-Patra Ruga.

Represented by Stevenson Gallery, photographer Zanele Muholi will present a large-scale portrait. The internationally celebrated artist’s work explores self-image and particularly the visibility of black queer South Africans. Muholi says that through her work she aims “to rewrite a black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond”.

Zanele Muholi, Faniswa, Seapoint, Cape Town, 2016 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, May You Live In Interesting Times. Photo – Italo Rondinella Stevenson

For his installation artist Athi-Patra Ruga will create a multimedia sculpture. Using performance, video, textiles, photography and printmaking, Ruga explores notions of utopia and dystopia in his work, creating “an interesting space of self-reflexivity in which political, cultural and social systems can be critiqued and parodied.”

Athi Patra-Ruga, Proposed Model of Francois Feral Benga – 1906-1957- 2018 WHATIFTHEWORLD

Cape Town-based artist Jody Paulsen presents one of his most recent large-scale colourful felt collages, I Do Feel Pretty, which was recently exhibited as part of the Radical Love exhibition at the Ford Foundation Gallery in New York.

Jody Paulsen, Find Your Gaggle, 2019 SMAC

Also look out for a new site-specific work commissioned especially for the fair by Igshaan Adams whose distinctive tapestries and sculptures made from string, beads, found fabric and steel explore the complexities of having queer, mixed-race, Christian and Muslim identities.

Igshaan Adams, Ontdoen, 2018 blank projects

Goodman Gallery brings a massive painting by the Zimbabwean artist Misheck Masamvu whose colourful works, painted in violent brushstrokes, mix realism and avant-garde expressionism to allude to the economic plight and political turmoil which besets Zimbabwe today.

Misheck Masamvu, Therapy Lounge Goodman Gallery

And finally completing the picture is a showstopping monumental sculpture by Brett Murray, represented by Everard Read Gallery.

Brett Murray, Fundamentalists – Monumental -, 2019 Everard Read

FNB Art Joburg is happening from September 13 – 15 at Sandton Convention Centre. Tickets can be booked online at

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