New contemporary African art fair to launch in Sandton
LATITUDES Art Fair is a new platform for African art in international times – a niche-focused art fair seeks to build local art audiences and promote African art.
In September 2019, Johannesburg will host a new alternative art fair focusing on contemporary art from the African continent. The fair aims to expand and strengthen audiences for contemporary African art and to create a richer understanding of African cultural production globally.
“By African, we mean anyone who has a meaningful connection to Africa and the diaspora, and by international, we mean the endless permutations of trans-geographic relationships – rather than the reinforcement of values entrenched in European and American economic centres,” says Executive Director, Lucy MacGarry.
LATITUDES will bring together a curated selection of galleries, independent platforms, artisanal studios, and artists from the African continent and diasporas. Developed in close conversation with several African galleries, the fair sets out to serve the diverse needs in the contemporary art sector throughout the Majority World.
“The vision for the fair was articulated by five women working in the South African art scene. But the hope – which is really the backbone of this initiative – belongs to artists, curators, collectors, and art lovers who have felt for some time that the art market as it exists today does not yet have a place for them,” comments Business Development Director, Makgati Molebatsi.
LATITUDES is a platform for lateral conversations between different stakeholders in the field of contemporary African art locally, in Africa and internationally.
“Arts professionals working in a contemporary African context are brave and committed human beings,” explains MacGarry. “While we are starting small, our objective is to provide a meaningful and inclusive platform for every stakeholder that contributes to the broader art ecosystem – which is why we’ve called the fair LATITUDES,” she explains. “Our approach can be described as lateral or latitudinal, where new concepts are created by looking at things in novel ways. Whereas logical (‘vertical’) thinking carries a chosen idea forward, sideways (‘lateral’) thinking provokes fresh ideas and has the potential to change our shared frame of reference.”
The inaugural edition of the LATITUDES Art Fair will take place in the Nelson Mandela Square from 13 – 15 September 2019, to coincide with the established FNB Art Joburg.