Joburg / Image via Adobe Stock
A collection of the best art galleries to visit in Johannesburg, featuring artworks and exhibitions by local and international artists
Joburg / Image via Adobe Stock
Johannesburg is described as a first-class African city – with so much diversity and activity, it is no wonder that many of South Africa’s best art galleries are here, housing the expression of artists from both near and far.
Situated in downtown Johannesburg, this gallery is home to one of the largest art collections in the country, and is the biggest gallery in sub-Saharan Africa. The building itself is an architectural wonder. Artworks housed here range from 17th-century Dutch paintings to South African art from the 21st century, with over 9 000 works of art displayed in 15 halls and sculpture gardens. Included in the gallery are works by the likes of Picasso, Monet, JH Pierneef, Walter Battiss and Salvador Dali.
The Gallery Momo is a contemporary art gallery in a converted home situated in Johannesburg’s Parktown North. Diverse collections, artworks and exhibitions are showcased by local and international artists.
This gallery hosts collaborative installations and various artists (both local and international). The gallery aims to encourage careers in the arts, literature and media. Here, one will find an alternative contemporary art culture. Local and International artists exhibit art, design, fashion, and print projects. The Parkwood gallery co-exists with it’s bookstore and experimental print workshop.
This gallery is situated in the ABSA bank tower and houses the artworks which the bank has invested in, including commissioned works. Artists and architects have worked together to create an exhibition space that compliment each other and the building itself.
This Rosebank gallery is all about art and architecture. Technological and contemporary artworks are displayed, with visitors moving though an architectural artwork in and of itself. Circa is small but renowned and supported by Deutsche Bank.
This is South Africa’s oldest commercial art gallery. Contemporary exhibitions with scientific installations and human technological development are displayed. It is positioned alongside Circa on Jellicoe in Rosebank in the Keyes Art Mile and is known to support local artists, both well known and developing.
This gallery is in Braamfontein, showcases works by local artists, and also features and international exhibition programme. This brings international artworks to South Africa audiences and provides local artists with a platform to gain international exposure. This Johannesburg art gallery has participated in International shows, such as the Art Basel, Frieze London and New York.
The Goodman Gallery started in 1966 and is one of the longest standing contemporary art galleries in the country. It aims to shift perspectives and create a social transformation, often causing a stir by displaying provocative artworks.
This gallery has an exciting exhibition programme which runs on a non-commercial basis. The annual Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award allows works by the winners to be exhibited. These works are often present challenging and controversial works. Previous award winners include William Kentridge, Jane Alexander, Pippa Skotnes and Andries Botha.
If you’d like to see artworks in a less formal setting, head to Art on Main during the weekend. This market provides a hub for local studios and galleries for visitors. This outing will allow for a cultural experience, with music and food being part of the experience.
The Wits Art Museum primarily hosts collections of African art. It is home to a collection of 15 000 artworks, including historical, modern and contemporary works. It hosts between 10 and 12 exhibitions each year.
Johannesburg is home to many galleries housing impressive art collections. These are creative spaces which you can visit time and time again to new exhibitions and to immerse yourself in the arts.