10 artists to see at this year’s Turbine Art Fair (TAF23)

25 Jul 2023
The 2023 edition of the Turbine Art Fair (TAF) takes place at its new home at Hyde Park Corner from ThuJul 27  Sun, Jul 30. This year’s fair features talks, fashion, food, a kids' programme and, of course, an expansive offering of art.

Through a range of galleries, curated programmes and special projects, the artists that form part of TAF23 are a combination of industry stalwarts and emerging talents, all bringing their distinct styles to the fair.

Ahead of the event, we’ve put together a list of 10 artists whose work we’re most looking forward to seeing.

Nathaniel Sheppard III

Nathaniel Sheppard III's 'Sweet Cotton'
Nathaniel Sheppard III's Sweet Cotton. Photo: TAF23. 

You might recognise the name Nathaniel Sheppard III from Danger Gevaar Ingozi, the Johannesburg-based printmaking studio he co-founded back in 2016. The artist also held a solo exhibition, The South in Colour, at Parkhurst's Kalashnikovv Gallery earlier this year. At TAF23, the artist presents his distinct blend of archival material, visual media, painting and collage as a selection of prints shown with Kalashnikovv Gallery.     

Samson Mnisi

Samson Mnisi's final solo exhibition at Keyes Art Mile. Photo: Asisebenze Art Atelier.

“Mnisi sings our hidden lives into existence, thrusts us deeper into ourselves while also thrusting us outward into the cosmos,” writes critic, author and curator of this year’s TAF Off the Grid programme, Ashraf Jamal. “He is unbounded, calculatedly ungoverned, as mortal as he is beyond the pale – free.” 

Samson Mnisi, the Lesotho-born artist known for his abstract paintings, tragically passed away in October last year, a day after the opening of his solo exhibition Man of the Hour. At TAF23, Mnisi’s work brings his penchant for spirited mark-making to new audiences. Mnisi’s paintings will form part of this year’s TAF Off the Grid – a programme focusing on a return to abstraction that supports and sustains the careers of artists outside of the conventional gallery circuit – alongside work by Gail Behrmann, Refiloe Mnisi, Alexandra Khazin and Daniel Chimurere.

Robert Hodgins

Robert Hodgins' All Gone All Gone. Photo: TAF23. 

Another artist who lives on through his work is the late Robert Hodgins. Though he passed away in 2010, the British-born painter continues to occupy the public imagination and regularly has works included in exhibitions, including +/- 102, a retrospective solo of his work exhibited at Johannesburg's Goodman Gallery in 2022. His satirical, sardonic, and at times unsettling paintings are internationally renowned for their critique of figures of power. Don’t miss the opportunity to see some of his work at TAF23. 

Bulumko Mbete

Bulumko Mbete. Photo: Bag Factory
The woven work of Bulumko Mbete. Photo: Bag Factory Artists' Studios.

Bulumko Mbete is having a moment. The young artist is the recipient of the 2023 Cassirer Welz Award and recently opened her solo exhibition I’ve Known Rivers at the Bag Factory Artists' Studios. The Johannesburg-based artist has developed a practice that is firmly rooted in materiality. Through the use of textiles, beading and weaving, she crafts abstract works that deal with, among other things, themes of migration, labour and love. At TAF23, Mbete’s work will be shown through art consultancy Ms Simone.

Kagiso Pat Mautloa

Kagiso Pat Mautloa's Then and Now. Photo: TAF23.

Contemporary urban life animates and informs the work of Kagiso Pat Mautloa. Working across painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking, the renowned Johannesburg-based artist uses the city as a constant source of inspiration, often walking its streets and making use of found objects in his work. Having taught at the Federated Union of Black Artists (FUBA) from the early 1980s, and later founding the Thupelo Workshops along with David Koloane, Bill Ainslie and others, Mautloa has influenced generations of South African artists. TAF23 will be an excellent opportunity to see his enduring works alongside the works of younger generations of artists.

Walter Maluleke

Walter Maluleke's u n’we a masin’winid (2023) Photo: Asisebenze Art Atelier.

Exhibiting with Asisebenze Art Atelier this year is Walter Maluleke, whose luminous landscapes of Limpopo unfold across his canvases of choice – traditional grass mats. Maluleke’s work references notions of heritage and lineage in relation to the South African family and South African society as a whole. Much of Maluleke’s work is also informed by a search for origins and a rootedness in the land. Don’t miss the chance to see his rich, tactile works in person.  

Vivien Kohler

Vivien Kohler. The Dance of foot to neck (2022). Photo: Vivien Kohler.
Vivien Kohler, The Dance of Foot to Neck (2022). Photo: Vivien Kohler.

Vivien Kohler is another artist who is deeply inspired by Johannesburg. His work, often making use of materials such as cardboard and barricade tape, reflects the people, places, and everyday detritus that make up the city. “I am fascinated both by the ability of the human spirit to transcend ‘the conceptual decay’, and the unique liminality of the post-apartheid South African city,” the artist has said of his work. Kohler’s work will be exhibited by Pretoria's St Lorient & The Viewing Room Art Gallery at TAF23. 

Candice Kramer

Candice Kramer's Jozi Walker I. Photo: TAF23. 

A constant chronicler of the city, Candice Kramer is well-known for her work on metal surfaces, using textures like rust and corrosion to signal the passing of time. Kramer references specific people, historic family photos, and old Johannesburg maps in her work and is constantly intrigued by how the city’s history is held and communicated through its buildings, its people, and the relationship between the two. 

Collen Maswanganyi

Collen Maswanganyi. Photo Johannesburg in Your Pocket
Collen Maswanganyi's wood carving. Photo: Johannesburg in Your Pocket. 

At the 2021 Turbine Art Fair, which took place in Illovo, Karel Nel presented a solo exhibition of sculptures by Collen Maswanganyi. Though he’d been working as a professional artist for years, the exhibition put Maswanganyi on the map in a new way. That same year, the Claire and Edoardo Villa Trust granted the Edoardo Villa Extraordinary Award for Sculpture to Jackson Hlungwani, honouring the late artist’s woodcarving tradition by supporting another sculptor, Maswanganyi, in the development of his practice. Maswangayi used the opportunity establish a workshop titled Carving X. The workshop took place in late 2022, and saw him collaborating with fellow sculptors Richard Chauke, Amorous Maswanganyi and Ben Tuge. Carving X will be one of this year’s featured exhibitions, showcasing Maswanganyi’s work, as well as the work of fellow sculptors and collaborators. Don’t miss it.

Frans Thoka

Frans Thoka's Mehlareng 10 (2023). Photo: Frans Thoka.

Prison and Basotho blankets are the medium of choice for Polokwane-born artist Frans Thoka. Onto these novel canvases Thoka paints striking South African landscapes – a nod to his childhood years spent helping his grandmother in the fields of Limpopo, but also a pointed commentary on the legacy of landlessness and dispossession faced by so many South Africans. Head over to the Origin Art Gallery booth at TAF23 to see Thoka’s work up close.

See the full list of exhibiting artists at TAF23 here and book your tickets for TAF23 here.


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