Johannesburg doesn’t only boast to be South Africa’s largest city; it is also the nation’s capital of culture with an impressive and vibrant contemporary art scene. Visit these 10 modern art galleries to explore Johannesburg’s exciting array of emerging and established contemporary artists.
We also recommend our guide to the 5 murals in Johannesburg you need to see.
Johannesburg Art Gallery
The JAG is South Africa’s premier contemporary art gallery, and one of Johannesburg’s must-visit cultural attractions. The art museum contains more than 9000 works of exceptional international and domestic exhibitions, attracting thousands of visitors through its doors every year. The building itself is also a masterpiece — the biggest gallery in sub-Saharan Africa, situated in downtown Johannesburg.
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“Fragile is a word I could recognize in myself from an early age. And I didn’t see that as a weakness. I saw that as an acceptance of reality because I observed that I found people the least interesting when they thought they were really strong and invincible. But people who are in touch with their fragility and have a sense of their own vulnerability, I found much more interesting and ultimately stronger,” Wolfgang Tillmans said in a recent interview. The photographer’s traveling survey “Wolfgang Tillmans: Fragile” is currently on view at the Johannesburg Art Gallery through September 30. … Pictured: Installation view, “Wolfgang Tillmans: Fragile,” Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa, 2018. Photo by Herman Verwey. Image © Wolfgang Tillmans. @friendsofjag @goetheinstitut @wolfgang_tillmans #WolfgangTillmans #photography #DavidZwirner
The Apartheid Museum
The Apartheid Museum establishment details South African history during Apartheid. It’s also one of the most significant collections of art and history in South Africa. Whenever in Johannesburg, make time to visit here and learn about the nation’s history and her journey to democracy. There’s a lot to read and learn, even with a comfortable 2 hours, won’t get a chance to see it all. You absolutely have to visit here!
The Melrose Gallery
The Melrose Gallery situated on the high-street of the Melrose Arch urban precinct in Johannesburg. This beautiful modern contemporary art space is dedicated to respected and up and coming talents exhibition program of contemporary art from around South Africa and across the globe. A fun art hub for artists, art collectors and new audiences to indulge and experience high quality artwork.
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The Melrose Gallery is honoured to have hosted last night's Cocktails & Conversations on Africa event at which renowned and distinguished alumni from across the globe came together to discuss pressing issues and the future of our beautiful continent. #TheMelroseGallery #TMG #MelroseArch
Wits Art Museum
Housed at the remarkable and internationally distinguished Wits University, the Wits Art Museum is one of the best art museums in Johannesburg. This art gallery has an impressive diverse collection of historic and contemporary African art. A platform for a hugely diverse thousands of pieces of South African and West and Central African art. One of Johannesburg’s top tourist attractions that’s not to be missed when in the city.
Circa is a unique architectural artwork and cultural centre in Johannesburg. The large landmark and distinct architecture have helped to promotes South African architecture. The venue allows guest to explore contemporary modern exhibition, a perfect blend of art and technology.
You can’t miss the Goodman Gallery strolling Parkwood’s Smuts Avenue. The gallery is one of the most distinguished and longest-standing international contemporary art galleries around. This art establishment has been supporting Johannesburg creatives since way back in 1966. An art space that has supported artists with focus on influential and shifting perspective on the art landscape. An awesome place to catch up on what’s shaping and shaking the art world. Truly educational and fun experience!
In the heart of Rosebank, Everard Read is a historic art gallery, considered to be one of Africa’s oldest commercial gallery. The building has helped pioneer South Africa art many decades ago. And till this day, facilitates beautiful exhibitions. A fun combination of cutting–edge art with social savvy to create unconventional moments to see, and to spark dialogue. There’s an art piece for everyone, from abstract to realistic.
Gallery MOMO has been a great addition of the South African art scene since 2003. And till this day, the gallery gives visitors a diverse art collection, and insight into the works of their close collaborators such as Kenrick McFarlane, and Roger Ballen. Both local and international artists come here to exhibit their latest art works.
The Stevenson Gallery providing a home for emerging contemporary artists to display their works in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. Every time you visit this popular gallery, you’ll almost certainly be treated to a new exhibition of exciting modern art and design. The space is one of Johannesburg’s most dynamic galleries using its platforms help South African artists to gain international exposure.
Standard Bank Gallery
This gallery is located in the vibrant heart of downtown Joburg and has been in operation since 1990. A refined South African art gallery displaying artworks of old and modern creatives across various genre, including plenty of cutting-edge modern artists. Works by Irma Stern, Gerard Sekoto and Cyprian Shilakoe have all been exhibited at the gallery.