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Sandton Convention Centre to host 2016 Joburg Art Fair


The ninth edition of the annual FNB Joburg Art Fair will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre from 9-11 September, it was announced in Rosebank, Johannesburg, on Thursday August 18.

The fair, which is co-sponsored by the City of Johannesburg, will feature more than 400 artists, 80 exhibitions in six categories including contemporary and modern art, special projects, gallery solo projects, limited editions and art platforms.

The selected galleries and organisations are from 16 African and European countries and the United States. First National Bank Marketing Officer Faye Mfikwe said the art fair, which had “earned a reputation as the ideal place for those interested in African contemporary art”, continued to play a significant role in discovering the value that artists brought to society.

Mfikwe added that as a proudly South African bank “with roots that extend into several other countries on the African continent and further afield, FNB endeavours to sustain the support of art through this prestigious annual event”. Kenyan-born Wangechi Mutu will exhibit a film and sculptural installation presented by Keyes Art Mile. Mutu comes to the fair as the highlight of this year’s curatorial focus on contemporary and modern art practices from East Africa and its diaspora.

FNB Senior Communications and Sponsorship Manager Marie van Niekerk said Mutu spent the past two decades living and working in New York. This, she said, had helped her to build a global art practice.

Van Niekerk said Mutu continued to work in New York while establishing a studio in Nairobi. The move, she said, had positioned Mutu among the growing list of renowned artists injecting a new and vibrant energy into the East African art scene. Van Niekerk said other solo presentations would include those of Aida Muluneh of Ethiopia, Jim Chuchu of Kenya and Sanaa Gateja of Uganda.

Nolan Oswald Dennis was named this year’s winner of the R100 000 FNB Art Prize and a scholarship to pursue a Masters’ degree in Art at MIT University in the United States and to showcase his talent. Past winners are Cedric Nunn of South Africa (2011), Kudzanai Chiurai of Zimbabwe (2012), Mocke J van Veuren and Nelisiwe Xaba of South Africa (2013), Portia Zvaher of Zimbabwe (2014) and Turia Magadlela of South Africa (2015).

The prize has since become one of the coveted visual art prizes on the continent.  Dennis said he was overwhelmed by the prize. His mother, Thoko, said the family was proud of him and would continue to support him.