By Nii B. Andrews

Africa’s oldest art fair, the FNB Joburg Art Fair ended its latest edition on September 9 at the Sandton Convention center.

Over 45 galleries from 14 countries across Africa, Europe and the US, as well as 15 new exhibitors took part.

African 2018 exhibitors were from Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe thus making it the largest fair dedicated to contemporary art on the continent.

THE STORIES I TELL MYSELF: Florine Demosthene. Image courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957. Photography by Nii Odzenma.


Last year, over USD2.7m of CAA was sold at the FNB fair over just one weekend.

Since interest in CAA continues to grow globally, the fair has a unique responsibility, as nearly half of art sales worldwide are estimated to take place at art fairs.

This year’s featured artist was Billie Zangewa, an artist who lives and works in Joburg – and whose work is based on lives there.

A Billie Zanegwa piece.


The winner of this year’s FNB Art Prize was announced as Haroon Gunn-Salie – an activist from Cape Town.

He is celebrated for his collaborative art practice that translates community oral histories into artistic inventions.

For the fair, he presented an installation from his project Senzenina, which deals with the tragic Marikana massacre.

CAMO (Division of Labor) Part 1: Troy Makaza, 150 × 350 cm. 2017.


It features an “immersive soundscape” that pipes through sounds which have to do with the lives of mine workers, including archival snippets of calls for mine workers to disperse peacefully and an anti-apartheid freedom song.

His multidisciplinary practice incorporates various artistic mediums that place an emphasis on collaborative artistic practices, dialogue and exchange.

Haroon Gunn-Salie – art piece.


Gallery 1957 from Accra, presented work by Florine Demosthene, whose “The Stories I Tell Myself” series provide a unique perspective on the black heroine (? shero).

The pieces reflect on the time she spent in Accra – (where she completed a four month residency earlier in 2018) and beautifully illustrate how this experience influenced the narrative of her heroine/?shero figures.

Hopefully at the start of September every year, both seasoned and new collectors will continue to be guaranteed an excellent sampling of CAA at the oldest and largest art fair on the continent.

BLACK STAR SERIES: yg/ngh. Photograph on paper (1/10), 2008.



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