The Goodman Gallery is at the forefront of contemporary art in Africa. Its focus is on artists from South Africa, the greater African Continent, and other countries that engage in a dialogue with the African context.
The gallery has a long history in South African art. Linda Goodman (later Givon) established the gallery in 1966 and since this inception, its activist role in South African contemporary art has been well documented. Current Director Liza Essers has transformed the Gallery’s focus and created an incisive programme that simultaneously fosters South Africa’s most important living artists, roots the gallery within an African discourse, embraces the significance of the Global South and establishes the careers of a new generation of remarkable artists.
The Goodman Gallery has evolved into the leading contemporary art institution in Africa and featured at Art Basel for a number of years during the 1980s and 1990s and then consistently at Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach since 2003.
The Gallery is home to forty artists including international visual art luminaries such as William Kentridge, Alfredo Jaar, Moshekwa Langa, Liza Lou, Kendell Geers and David Goldblatt. The stable includes African-born artists such as Ghada Amer (Egypt) and Mounir Fatmi (Morocco) who powerfully confront Northern African politics, post-colonialism and social despotism. African-American artist Hank Willis Thomas, who elucidates on the global effects of oppression inflicted by one race on another, has also been included. Also critical is including the work of internationally-based South African artists such as Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin and Candice Breitz, and re-engaging with the dialogue that they began before relocating overseas. Building the careers of younger artists is also at the core of the Gallery’s mission, with young artists such as Kudzanai Chiurai, Mikhael Subotzky and Haroon Gunn-Salie already making an indelible impact on the international art scene.
In 2012 the Gallery launched its [Working Title] programme – an annual exhibition bringing together new and recent work by primarily young and independent artists from South Africa, the rest of the continent and beyond. Some of these artists are recently graduated, and [Working Title] offers a springboard for further opportunities, as well as ensuring that the Gallery’s programme is dynamic.
In January 2015, Goodman Gallery will launch its annual project titled South-South, which will look at connections and disconnections between Africa and Latin America and consider the significance embedded with the notion of a Global South.
As well as bringing in independent curators for [Working Title] and South-South, the gallery programme also includes a number of independently curated projects. Upcoming shows in 2015 include Africans in America , a three-part project curated by Hank Willis Thomas looking at artists of African descent living in the USA and an exhibition of work by female African artists curated by Natasha Becker.