Cape Town Art Fair highlights and call for entry 2018

Robert Combas, Crucifix crucified, 2008–16. Installation, variable dimension. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Caroline Smulders. Photo: Nina Lieska.

Call for 2018 entry and highlights of CTAF2017

February 16–18, 2018

Cape Town Art Fair 
The Cape Town International Convention Center
Convention Square, 1 Lower Long Street
Cape Town 8001
South Africa

Cape Town Art Fair 2018 will return to the Cape Town International Convention Centre from February 16 to 18. Alongside our diverse Main Section, we will develop the curatorial strength of the Fair with the introduction of a new section, SOLO. Led by an independent curator, its first iteration will focus upon the widespread socio-political issues faced by women, and highlight the contribution of women to the art world.

Returning to the Fair is Unframed, Editions, Magazines & Publications and Past/Modern, with Tomorrows/Today led once again by Fair Curator Tumelo Mosaka and opened up to gallery proposals of solo presentations by emerging artists from around the world. CTAF2018 will involve closer cultural partnerships with institutions, and a focused programme of events, giving the ever-increasing number of international collectors and exhibitors insight into Cape Town as a creative capital.

For more information and to apply to CTAF2018, see our website

CTAF2017 highlights
Watch the CTAF2017 highlight video

The 5th edition of Cape Town Art Fair showed exponential growth. Over 80 exhibitors, including leading galleries from South Africa, the African continent, the Middle East, and Europe exhibited presentations of contemporary art produced by established and emerging artists from all over the world. CTAF has proven to be an effective access point for international galleries and their artists to connect with a growing market of African collectors, and a magnet for international collectors and institutions looking for the best of contemporary art produced on the African continent.

Exhibitors from abroad accounted for over a third of the programme, and included prominent names such as Galleria Minini, Galleria Continua, October Gallery, and Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Local galleries heavily involved in the international art fair circuit, including Goodman Gallery, SMAC Gallery and Stevenson, alongside exhibitors from the continent such as Gallery 1957 from Accra, Circle Art Gallery and ARTLabAfrica from Nairobi, Galerie Cecile Fakhoury from Abidjan, BLOOM Art Lagos and Addis Fine Art, represented the dynamic conversations surrounding visual art in the region. The combination of local and international exhibitors has resulted in content that offers a unique view of the art market.

CTAF2017 saw the introduction of a new section, Unframed, dedicated to large-scale, often interactive installations and sculpture. Interspersed throughout the Fair, the installations heightened the fairgoers’ experience and generated widespread media coverage. The section provided galleries and their artists a platform to present artworks that gave a more ambitious, more conceptual insight into each artist’s practice. 

Returning to CTAF was Tomorrows/Today, curated by Fair Curator Tumelo Mosaka, dedicated to solo presentations by emerging artists who are positioned to become prominent names in the art world. Exploring the urban space, the section consisted of ten artists, and the winner of the Tomorrows/Today prize was Jackie Karuti, represented by Circle Art Agency (Nairobi).

CTAF2017 leaped in sales and attendance, reaching over 20 000 visits, with 2,481 invited guests attending the Vernissage. VIP guests consisted of local and international collectors and curators who spent much of the weekend exploring and buying art at the Fair, and creating connections in the expansive lounge, where a networking breakfast and reception for the South African Pavilion at the Venice Biennale were held.

There was an extensive programme of side events, including walkabouts of museums, private collections, and artist studios, as well as exhibition openings and performances at exciting art spaces such as the Maitland Institute which held its inaugural exhibition, a solo show of large-scale Zanele Muholi works. Also included in the programme were cocktail parties at exclusive venues around the city, such as the newly opened Silo Hotel above Zeitz MOCAA (opening in September 2017). 

Guests received an intimate experience of Cape Town’s engaging art scene, alongside an extensive survey of the international art market seen in the Fair. We look forward to welcoming you to contribute to the continuous growth of Africa’s art market in CTAF’s sixth iteration.

Carolina Nitsch
Tulips & Roses
Friedrich Petzel
Magazine Mousse
The breeder
Anton Kern Gallery