Cape Town Art Fair 2017 Highlights

From 17-19 February 2017, the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) will be the setting of a diverse display of contemporary art from around the world. More than 80 local and international exhibitors will be presenting quality works at the 2017 Cape Town Art Fair (CTAF), alongside a must-see programme of curated exhibitions, special features, talks, guided walkabouts, a digital media platform and outdoor activations that will ignite the nearby V&A Waterfront precinct.

Now in its fifth edition, CTAF is firmly positioned as the leading contemporary international art fair located in Africa. The fair is produced by Fiera Milano Exhibitions Africa (FMEA) of the Fiera Milano Group, one of the world’s leading events companies and the creators of the Italian art fair MIART.

CTAF 2017 has attracted the highest number of applications in the Fair’s history, from local and international galleries. “The selection process has been extensive,” says leading curator, Tumelo Mosaka who was appointed as the CTAF curator earlier this year. This ensures that the quality of the fair is of an exceptional standard, offering exemplary value for its guests and participants.

More than 20 international galleries are part of the 2017 selection which includes galleries such as Galerie Seippel and ARTCO Gallery from Germany; Tiwani Contemporary, Art First and October Gallery from London; Galerie Caroline Smulders, France; Galerie Pascal Janssens, Belgium; and Galleria Continua, Galleria Massimo Minini and Primo Marella from Italy.

In addition to this strong overseas contingent, galleries that are the most representative of the African continent’s contemporary art scene, such as Addis Fine Art from Ethiopia, Afriart from Uganda, Art Twenty One from Nigeria, First Floor from Zimbabwe, and Galerie Cecile Fakhoury from Ivory Coast will showcase their new works by their most exciting artists alongside the most significant South African galleries. These include Stevenson, Goodman, SMAC, Gallery MOMO, Everard Read, blank projects, WHATIFTHEWORLD, and SMITH, among others.

Art museums and cultural institutions will also exhibit works in a dedicated section called Cultural Platforms. As in previous years, the organisers will also welcome a large contingent of visiting acquisitions managers from various institutions as well as significant art collectors from South Africa and abroad.

A highlight in 2016 and once again a key feature of the event, is the special project titled Tomorrows/Today – curated by Mosaka. Tomorrows/Todayfeatures solo presentations by emerging artists from Africa and the African Diaspora, all of which have been chosen by Mosaka as being representative of the continent’s most thought-provoking young voices. About 10 artists, including Onyis Martin (Kenya) represented by ARTLabAfrica, Jackie Karuti (Kenya) represented by Circle Art Gallery, Sandile Zulu (South Africa) represented by SMAC Art Gallery, Helen Teede (Zimbabwe) represented by Showcase Gallery Dubai and First Floor Gallery Harare, and Joël Andrianomearisoa (Madagascar) represented by Sabrina Amrani Gallery in Madrid, among others.

Making its inaugural mark at this year’s fair, another special feature for fairgoers to look forward to is the Unframed section, which will feature large-scale installations and sculptures and has been conceived to encourage visitors to engage with the art. Five ambitious projects proposed by artists from four of South Africa’s leading galleries will be dispersed throughout the fair floor to create a number of points of interest.


A regular favourite on the fair programme, CTAF will present a series of talks given by curators, writers and art professionals. The talks will focus on strategies and practices by artists, curators and collectors who have championed contemporary African Art globally. The CTAF will also activate the nearby V&A Waterfront area with a series of outdoor interventions presented in conjunction with Lalela, an NPO that offers arts education for learners at risk.

Five local galleries, Stevenson, SMAC, Goodman, Luvey ‘n Rose and WALL, will showcase pre-2000 works in the masters section entitled Past/Modern.

Art publications will take pride of place at the event, with dedicated booths for art media representatives, where books, catalogues, journals and magazines can be obtained. The Fair will host an innovative digital media platform displayed on electronic tablets, where visitors can interact and familiarise themselves with global online art publications.

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

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