FNB Art Joburg returns to the Sandton Convention Centre for its 16th edition this year. The fair begins with a VIP opening night on Thu, Sep 7 and is officially open to the public on Fri, Sep 8 – Sun, Sep 10, 2023. A mainstay in Joburg's cultural calendar, FNB Art Joburg is a weekend-long arts showcase that spotlights the best contemporary artists from galleries and institutions across the African continent and global diaspora.
Following the success of the 2022 programme, the fair has again been organised into six specialised sections to satisfy a wide range of art tastes. FNB Art Joburg started with a bang this year with an incredible collaboration with William Kentridge's Centre for the Less Good Idea called BMW Art Generationwhich took over Arts on Main in Maboneng on the first weekend in September. It also kicked off a two-week celebration of art across the city – the Open City programme. Open City runs until Tue, Sep 19, bringing togethera superb mix of art, food and culture.
FNB Art Joburg is one event no Joburger will want to miss – here's a quick breakdown of what you can expect in each of the fair's sections.
Quality over quantity at gallery HUB
This is the fair's central section, which presents the best in contemporary African and diaspora art.
Fresh and bold at gallery LAB
Looking to the future of contemporary African art is gallery LAB. An incubator of sorts to develop emerging galleries and hybrid art spaces, gallery LAB is a space for exploration that introduces you to new artists, ideas and business models that speak to the contemporary African arts landscape. Participating galleries include 16/16, Annie Kadji Art Gallery, CHURCH, EBONY/CURATED, Guns & Rain, Modzi Arts, O'DA ART GALLERY, Ora Loapi, RESERVOIR, Untitled, Village Unhu and Wunika Mukan Gallery.
Larger than life with MAX
This section of the fair houses installations or works that don't quite fit the white cube (literally); expect to encounter art on a challenging scale.
This section is for bibliophiles and gives fair-goers the opportunity to engage with master print and publishing houses. The ETC section offers an abundance of books, prints, catalogues and zines. ArtThrob, Artist Proof Studio, Atelier le Grand Village, Clarke's Bookshop, David Krut Projects, Flood House, iwalewabooks, Proto and edition-verso will all have booths at this year's fair.
This section is a representation of Johannesburg’s seminal art institutions. Whether museums, universities or private institutions, ORG looks to redefine how people engage with organisations that were established for the good of the public. A signature participant at the fair’s 2022 ORG section was William Kentridge's experimental, collaborative, cross-disciplinary arts project space The Centre for the Less Good Idea.
Listen up at AUX
Spanning talks, screenings, public lectures and audio essays, the AUX section will bring together industry leaders and facilitate important conversations on topics impacting the contemporary art world. Last year's topics included magic realism as practice, Biennale reflections, the role of arts writing, and art’s place in the metaverse.
Together with the three-day fair, Open City fulfils FNB Art Joburg’s quest for economic stimulation, inclusivity and better access for all. To do this, Open City encourages Johannesburg’s visitors and residents to immerse themselves in the city's rich and layered cultural offerings to the point where it becomes a part of their everyday. Filling the city with art, music, performance, food and fashion, for just over 16 days, Open City gives independent and emerging cultural practitioners the opportunity to reach a wider audience of culture consumers.
Don't miss the exhibition of 2022's FNB Art Joburg Prize winner, Dada Khanyisa
Titled Cape Town,the solo show at Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) is a homecoming for the artist, who grew up in Johannesburg (his younger self would visit JAG for inspiration). Khanyisa now lives in Cape Town, and his exhibition acts as a semi-autobiographical notebook of his experiences since leaving the City of Gold.