Star artist of the year
The stellar local art trajectory just continued to reach evergreater heights this year. The undisputed leader for 2016, however, was photographer 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 African art.
She’s just one of the local stars making it big. Kemang Wa
Lehulere, for instance, 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 destroyed the local gallery scene with her unconventional imagery; William
Kentridge, also on the Power 100 list again this year, literally exhibited everywhere, breaking records and being awarded every prize known to humankind. 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. It has been announced that she would be the curator of the 2017 Berlin Biennale – a first for someone from South Africa, and a significant achievement globally for anyone working in that space. We’re superproud and can’t wait to see what she does.
BIRD IN HAND A work by Kemang Wa Lehulere from his The Knife Eats at Home exhibition