Africa is known for many things. Pleasant landscapes, abundant wildlife, and an abundance of natural resources. Art doesn’t, however, feature on the list of things Africa is prominently known for. Even though this scene is quite vibrant, especially in today’s Africa.
Art in Africa is diverse with tons of artists coming up with iconic and beautiful works that showcase Africa in all its glory. Contemporary artworks are gaining popularity as much of Africa’s youth gain an interest in art.
Africa sadly doesn’t have a Louvre of its own. However, there are decent galleries spread across the continent whose walls are lined with some of the best African artists have to offer. Read on and find out about these fantastic art galleries on African soil.
- Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, And Cape Town SA
From a country plagued with disturbing cases of xenophobia, art is putting South Africa on the map again, this time for good reasons. Goodman gallery is the hallmark of African contemporary art. The art gallery includes works from both significant and upcoming artists from South Africa as well as the entire continent.
Goodman gallery’s main philosophy is about showing the world raw artistic talents as well as valuing cultural awareness and appreciation. Much of the art on display here is about the country’s socio-political agendas and concerns. Setup in 1966, the art gallery has remained steadfast in this belief in spite of the political atmosphere ever since.
- Zeitz Museum Of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town Sa
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary art is perhaps Africa’s most significant contemporary art gallery. Also known as Zeitz Mocaa, this gallery is set inside an old silo that harbored grains before.
Despite a lot of art on display at Zeitz Mocaa being privately owned, much of it has an African taste to it. Moreover, the owner, Puma executive chief, invites more African artists and collectors as well to showcase their works at the gallery. This not only helps create exposure for them but also enable other artists to grow in the trade.
The gallery hosts artworks from notable African artists like award-winning El Anatsui. However, others are still missing from the collection. Nevertheless, the gallery still boasts of an impressive African art collection in general.
- First Floor, Harare, Zimbabwe
Another popular and recognized Southern African modern art gallery is found in Zimbabwe. The First Floor art gallery was founded in the twenty-first century and sits smack in the middle of the busy Harare CBD.
The First Floor gallery showcases contemporary artworks from a host of Zimbabwean artists. Most of these guys are supported by the gallery in a bid to grow their talent and also exposure. To do so, First Floor gallery organizes plenty of seminars and classes for artists to learn plenty from.
Exhibitions are plenty throughout the year. These feature a host of prominent Zimbabwean artists like Mavis Tauzeni.
- Afriart Gallery, Kampala, Uganda
In East Africa, Afriart Gallery leads as a hub for contemporary African artworks. The gallery offers an attractive range of Ugandan and African arts featuring local artists some who are established while others being rising stars.
Afriart, besides showcasing art, has also been a pivotal point in the Ugandan art scene. To be able to grow this sector, the gallery also sells some of the artworks. On offer are traditional fabrics, statues, ceramics etc.
The gallery is a real piece of art, even from its design principle. The bright red coloring on this two-story building is hard to miss when you are in Kampala.
- Banana Hill Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya
Another prominent East African art house is the Banana Hill Art Gallery in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Much of the art on display in Banana Hill is from Kenyan artists as well as a couple of East African painters.
This gallery hosts a variety of African artworks mainly contemporary in nature. They have paintings and sculptures that illustrate different artists’ life interpretation. The daily city and village life have been captured in some of the works on display at Banana Hill. Also, not left behind is Kenya’s natural features and wildlife.
Founded by an artist, Shine Tani, the gallery aims to promote local artists and help future ones to reach their goals and ambitions.
So finally, Africa is also a key player in the art scene with these art galleries lining up the continent. They have put the continent on the global map when it comes to art. More could be done however in the name of workshops and art walks. These not only provide upcoming artists with valuable experience and knowledge, but they will also get an opportunity to interact and learn from the best in the field.