Art & Design Feature Lifestyle

New contemporary art gallery to showcase Pan-African talent on the global stage

November 27, 2020
Sibosiso Duma

Situated on the penultimate floor of Vïb – Cape Town’s newest, vibey hotel offering on the Atlantic seaboard – Jaffer Modern will open its doors to the public for the first time in December 2020. 

The latest addition to South Africa’s contemporary art landscape, Jaffer Modern is the brainchild of its owner and director, Shafina Jaffer, herself a passionate, intuitive artist. 

“With a focus on aspiring and established Pan-African voices, our goal is to serve as a platform that raises the profile of African art on the global stage,” says Shafina. “We are confident that our extensive network of buyers, combined with a programme of curated exhibitions, will enable us to achieve exactly that!” 

New contemporary art gallery to showcase Pan-African talent Margie Murgatroyd
Margie Murgatroyd aims to showcase the diverse creativity that is on our continent. Image supplied.

The architecture and interior design of the gallery have been conceptualised by, well-known local architect, Robert Silke. He is also responsible for the design of the Vïb by Best Western (the first of its kind in Africa!) in which Jaffer Modern is situated. 

Perched just below the rooftop, the spacious interior will feature an inspired use of natural light and boasts breath-taking sea views over Green Point towards Robben Island. With its stand-out architecture and location, Jaffer Modern promises art collectors, artists and visitors alike a world-class gallery experience. 

Visitors will enjoy a spectrum of works ranging from paintings across various genres and mediums, through to sculptures and ceramics. The gallery’s inaugural show will focus on the exhibition theme GatheringA Community of Portraits.

“The theme refers to the deep human need to congregate and the desire to commune. It is about our diversity, cultures and common humanity,” says Shafina. Held from December 2020 to end Feb 2021, this introductory exhibition will showcase portraits representing the many faces of Africa and facets of human interaction. Jaffer Modern has confirmed over 40 artists’ work for the landmark opening show. 

New contemporary art gallery to showcase Pan-African talent Sibosiso Duma
Both art pieces by Sibosiso Duma

Gathering will be curated by Margie Murgatroyd, the founder of famed gallery-style boutique Africa Nova and regular guest curator of art exhibitions at the Casa Labia Cultural Centre in Muizenberg, Cape Town. “I have always promoted art from Africa,” she says. “This first exhibition aims to showcase a diverse outpouring of creativity from the continent.”

 According to the curator: “The term ‘Portrait’ is used in its widest possible sense to describe a person, people or even other sentient beings. It is intended to reach beyond the superficial and offer fresh insight into the subject. The understanding that ‘human economies should recognise the interconnectedness of all systems – of all life’, is central to the theme. ‘Portrait’ can be interpreted both metaphorically or literally and it can move from the subjective to the collective. It may be figurative or abstract,” she continues.

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