The Cape Town Art Fair

Ever heard of the Cape Town Art Fair?

Every year, Cape Town plays host to The Cape Town Art Fair (CTAF), a feast for art lovers. For three days of the year, The Pavilion at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront turns into an art mecca and with artists, collectors and auctioneers Cape Town is the place to be for the weekend.

Cape Town is celebrating its status as World Design capital this year so CTAF brought together the country’s top galleries together under a single roof to capitalise on the city’s ‘art’ title.  The city boasts a busy and eclectic art scene which it owes in some part to its diverse and dynamic geographic advantages and its heritage of diverse culture which makes Cape Town an obvious choice for professionals of the art world to visit.  And, CTAF showcases a superior diversification of art work that fairly represents the investment value, promise and richness of the art that is coming out of the country.

In addition to CTAF, the city has recently announced the development of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) which, as a major cultural institution, will focus on the collection, preservation, research and exhibition of contemporary art from around the continent and its diaspora across the globe.  The new Zeitz MOCAA, along with Guild, the continent’s first international fair to focus on design, CTAF weekend is a hive of activity for members of the wider art community, with something for everyone, making the mother city a truly global art capital.  CTAF’s 2014 curator, Andrew Lamprecht, commented that Cape Town has more art galleries than ever and that the city’s artists are productive, producing work that holds its own in international light.

This year’s fair was, unsurprisingly, oversubscribed and welcomed many new gallery participants to the existing ones, including Stevenson, Goodman and Everard Read, all of whom are enthusiastic about what CTAF can do to promote Cape Town as a real contender on the international art scene. Jooost Bosland of Stevenson (who presented a booth at CTAF by artist, Zander Blom) said about 2014’s fair, “It’s encouraging to see that the Cape Town art world is becoming a denser, more layered fabric of spaces and events.”

The Cape Town Art Fair was produced by Fiera Milano Exhibitions Africa (of the international Fiera Milano Group) who are responsible for putting on arts fairs in Istanbul and Milan.  Its director, Louise Cahsmore, commented that South African art is attracting attention from local and international collections. She said the galleries participating in CTAF and its programme was equally representative of emerging artists as well as those who are acclaimed.  The exhibits were complemented by a diverse programme of talks, performances and dialogues between artists.  Cashmore says that it wasn’t difficult to see, when looking from the point of view of CTAF, why the city merited its title of World Design Capital.

It’s an excellent way of connecting all the art world players in one place.  If you missed it this year, be sure to catch it when it returns to Cape Town next year.