As the first international art fair on the continent, the FNB JoburgArtFair plays a pivotal role in supporting the Contemporary Arts landscape in Africa. The Fair, which opens tomorrow, 9th of September, 2016, provides a space for leading artists, galleries, collectors, writers, thinkers and art lovers to congregate. The art fair will see local and international art lovers, makers and dealers converge on Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre. This year, the fair heralds the new executive directorship of Mandla Sibeko working together with the fair curator, Lucy MacGarry, and will feature 90 exhibitions within 6 categories including Contemporary and Modern Art, Special Projects, Gallery Solo Projects, Limited Editions and Art Platforms. The selected galleries and organisations include 80 exhibitors from 17 countries across Africa, Europe, and the United Sates.

The focus of this year’s FNB JoburgArtFair is set to highlight a transformational moment in East Africa’s art scene. Presented together for the first time in one location, the focus spans the greater horn of Africa and takes great lakes regions from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan.

Special featured artist for 2016 is Wangechi Mutu presented by Keyes Art Mile, Johannesburg. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, educated in Britain and America and resident in New York since the mid-nineties, Mutu’s practice has achieved global acclaim. Visitors to the fair will also have the opportunity of seeing a new site-specific sculptural installation by Serge Alain Nitegeka (Burundi) presented by Stevenson, alongside new, large-scale works by Sanaa Gateja (Uganda) presented by Afriart.

Wangechi Mutu 'The End of eating Everything', 2013 Animated video (colour, sound), 8 minutes, 10 seconds. Edition of 6 Courtesy of the artist, Gladstone Gallery and Victoria Miro Gallery. Commissioned by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC.

Wangechi Mutu ‘The End of eating Everything’, 2013 Animated video (colour, sound), 8 minutes, 10 seconds. Edition of 6 Courtesy of the artist, Gladstone Gallery and Victoria Miro Gallery. Commissioned by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC.

Further solo presentations by leading artists include Aida Muluneh (Ethiopia) presented by David Krut Projects, The Nest Collective (Kenya) presented by the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, Jim Chuchu (Kenya) presented by Mariane Ibrahim and a video installation by Ato MalindaJackie Karuti (both Kenya) and Rehema Chachage (Tanzania) presented by Circle Art Agency.

Nigeria’s Victor Ehikhamenor will also have works on display at the fair as presented by the world-renowned contemporary art gallery, Gallery MOMO in South Africa. Multi-disciplinary artist, Ehikhamenor, whose work has featured in a number of international events this year, including the 10th Ostale International Exhibition of Contemporary Art in Dresden and the 12th edition of Dak’Art Biennale in Senegal, is one of over 600 artists from all over the continent and beyond, and one of the 4 artists presented by Gallery MOMO, who will have their works exhibited at the Fair. (Gallery MOMO will be at Booth 74.)

Victor Ehikhamenor, 'Praise and Worship Dancer', 2015

Victor Ehikhamenor, ‘Praise and Worship Dancer’, 2015

FNB JoburgArtFair hosts an annual series of non-profit projects and events tp create a holistic view of creative practice in Africa. These include the highly coveted FBN Art Prize that awards a young artist the financial means and opportunity to create a new project for the Fair, a programme of Talks – lectures, discussions, and interviews, and the FBN Private Wealth Lounge that features the work of a featured designer from the continent.

Saturday 10 September 10:00 – 14:30 Theatre on the Square, Sandton.

The 2016 FBN Art Prize winner, Nolan Oswald Dennis, joins a prestigious list that goes back to the 2011 edition of the Fair when the prize was launched. Born and  raised in Zambia, Dennis is currently based in Johannesburg and is represented by the Goodman Gallery. He works in drawing, painting, and installation, and his practice is concerned with the themes of constantly fluctuating conditions of place, time, and history. His work will be presented by the Goodman Gallery at the Fair along with other artists.

Nolan Oswald, Dennis, 'Futhermore', 2016, installation views, solo exhibition at Goodman Gallery, Cape Town.

Nolan Oswald, Dennis, ‘Furthermore’, 2016, installation views, solo exhibition at Goodman Gallery, Cape Town.

A ground-breaking addition and highlight of the Fair is the first ever series of TEDxJohannesburgSalon Talks themed on the contemporary visual arts of Africa, The Programme, presented by Ogojiii magazine, seeks to make the conversation around African visual art accessible to a broader audience, including a full day of talks presented by dynamic artists, curators, and thinkers at the theatre on the at Nelson Mandela Square.

The man often referred to as the Togolese magician of design, 2016 Featured Designer, Kossi Aguessy, has created an intervention at this year’s FNB JoburgArtFair that is guided by a golden thread that Aguessy refers to as, “the essence of a futuristic and sleek Africa.” This phrase, he says, is the “starting point of my intervention” for the Lounge at the 2016 FNB JoburgArtFair. As Featured Designer, the Lounge will feature a selection of Aguessy’s pieces like The Stool. This is a perfect example of how Aguessy’s work merges sensibilities from two universes.

Visitors to the Lounge presented by FNB Private Clients and Private Wealth at the Fair will get to see his latest works.

"The Stool", Brass, 440 x 430mm, The Stool is inspired both by the traditional Somalian sheepkeeper s stool and a skateboard

“The Stool”, Brass, 440 x 430mm, The Stool is inspired both by the traditional Somalian sheepkeeper’ s stool and a skateboard

DATE: 9th – 11th September 2016.

VENUE: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

For a line-up of all activities at the Fair, see here.

For all other information about exhibitors, artists, special projects and Art Directory, see here.

Top featured image courtesy FBN JoburgArtFair.