City Press' year in art

2016-12-18 06:01
William Kentridge

Johannesburg - The vibrant local art scene has continued to reach ever-greater heights this year.

The undisputed leader for 2016 was photographer and visual activist Zanele Muholi, whose work documenting queer communities in southern Africa has been getting major international traction, seeing her enter influential art magazine Art Review’s Power 100 list at position 95 – the only African woman on the list. She had major exhibitions locally and abroad and continued to use her powerful position to interrogate and give visibility to those communities on the fringe. Frankly, she’s the rock star of South African art.

Don't miss #FacesAndPhases10 by @muholizanele at Stevenson #Johannesburg

A photo posted by STEVENSON (@stevenson_za) on

However, she’s just one of the local stars making it big. Kemang Wa Lehulere exhibited at major galleries and fairs around the world during his year as the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year, Dean Hutton spread their “F**k White People” message around the continent, Buhlebezwe Siwani set the local gallery scene on fire with her unconventional imagery, and William Kentridge, also on the Power 100 list again this year, exhibited globally while breaking auction records and adding new awards and prizes to his lengthy CV.

But we’re most excited about the work of curator Gabi Ngcobo, whose pioneering ideas about art’s transformational powers are being recognised around the world. She co-curated the 32nd São Paulo Biennial this year, and it has recently been announced that she will be the curator of the 2018 Berlin Biennale – a first for someone from South Africa. We’re super proud and can’t wait to see what she does. 

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