Go On A Virtual Tour Of Joburg’s Top Art Galleries


Our top museums and art galleries are finally starting to reopen after months of lockdown. However if you aren’t quite ready to venture out into public spaces just yet, check out their fantastic online exhibitions and displays. Join a virtual tour and get your dose of arts and culture from the safety of your own home!

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Brett Murray, US, 2018

Melrose Gallery 

The Melrose Gallery is renowned for its rich collection of Pan-African art and sculpture. One of the gallery’s most acclaimed artists, Pitika Ntuli has been hard at work for over three years constructing his latest body of work. Entitled Azibuyele Emasisweni (Return to the Source), this display is made up almost entirely of bone. The Melrose Gallery, in partnership with the National Arts Festival, present this exhibition online between 25 June to 02 August 2020. You can view the exhibition on the Melrose Gallery website or via the National Arts Festival’s online platform. Each of the artworks will also be accompanied by voice recordings by the artist, as well as a number of poets, writers, thinkers and makers.

Stay engaged and up to date on the latest happenings at the Melrose Gallery by following them on Facebook or Instagram.

Standard Bank Arts

The Standard Bank Art Gallery was in the middle of their first major exhibition for 2020 when COVID-19 was declared a national disaster. The Lumieres ‘d Afriques exhibition was set to bring 54 artists from around Africa to the gallery in Johannesburg. Rather than shut the exhibition down completely, the gallery responded by taking it online! You can tour the Standard Bank Art Gallery here and marvel at the work of Africa’s finest artists. Hover over a painting or sculpture that intrigues you to watch a short clip by the artist explaining their inspiration and the significance of the piece.

The Gallery has also recently introduced a new online feature – Home Studio Live. Join various Standard Bank Young Artist award winners from their home studios each week for a live, online performance. The Standard Bank Home Studio Live feature will broadcast via their Facebook page each Thursday evening at 20:00. Happy listening!

Everard Read 

The Everard Read Gallery has been hard at work to bring you a number of virtual exhibitions during lockdown. Currently, the gallery has two online exhibitions to enjoy:

From The Archives

The Everard Read Gallery has hosted numerous artists and exhibitions since its establishment at its current location in the 1970s. Looking back on its illustrious past, the gallery debuts a multifaceted online programme showcasing pieces that have been exhibited previously at Everard Read, some that have been shown individually, some that have travelled to art fairs and exhibitions around the world and others that have never been seen before. Each week the gallery chooses an artist’s work to showcase and celebrate. A selection of these pieces will also be available to purchase online, so don’t miss out! The exhibition will be showcased online until 31 July 2020.

Still 

Still is the third in the Everard Read Gallery’s online exhibition series. This latest show comprises works primarily created by invited and gallery artists during lockdown. Reflecting on the quiet contemplation that this time offered, Still examines the varying contradictions and emotions that perpetuate out of a world in lockdown – a pertinent snapshot of a very particular moment in time. Still runs from 18 June – 8 July 2020.

Visit the gallery’s website to explore these fantastic projects and to give back to the arts community and those in need. You can also follow the Everard Read on Facebook and Instagram for artist interviews and for details on upcoming virtual exhibitions.

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STILL | GROUP EXHIBITION | 18 JUNE – 8 JULY STILL is the third in the Everard Read galleries’ series of online group exhibitions. The first two (Staring Straight to the Future and US) served to re-frame existing works in the context of the pandemic. This latest group show comprises of works primarily created by invited and gallery artists during lockdown, when most artists didn’t have access to their studios, often having to adjust both their working methods and world views. STILL references notions of ‘stillness’: from formal still life studies, to a slowing down in quiet contemplation. This exhibition imagines humankind’s resilience and perseverance during an unprecedented time of uncertainty . STILL presents a variety of responses that explore ephemerality, nostalgia, wistfulness, beauty and order as well as chaos and turbulence. From the epic, mythologising works of Ricky Dyaloyi, Blessing Ngobeni and Dylan Lewis, to the more serene works of Mmakgabo Sebidi, John Meyer and Caryn Scrimgeour – and everything in between – this exhibition is a pertinent snapshot of a very particular moment in time.

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Stevenson Gallery 

The Stevenson Gallery is one of Johannesburg’s most renowned contemporary African art houses. On the day that South Africa’s national lockdown was set to begin, the gallery had intended to unveil Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi’s new body of work titled Gymnasium. This would have been the artist’s first exhibition with the Stevenson, and the gallery took the decision to take it online. Gymnasium will be on display on the gallery’s website until 27 June 2020. Click on the multimedia link to watch a guided walk through of the exhibition with the artist himself.

The Stevenson Gallery has also been active on Facebook and Instagram daily, providing in-depth analysis of some of their resident pieces and previous exhibitions. Join in on the conversation to learn more about contemporary African art while you’re stuck at home!

Goodman Gallery 

One of the most recognisable art institutions in Joburg, the Goodman Gallery has stepped up to the virtual viewing party in excellent fashion. In response to nationwide gallery closures, this world-class art house has created their very own virtual viewing room, offering art lovers online exhibitions, film festivals and much more to explore during the lockdown period. Once every two weeks this platform presents a new bespoke exhibition curated for dynamic online viewing, complete with audio and video clips directly from the artists and curators to accompany you on your digital journey! Check it out here.

The Goodman Gallery also presents How to Disappear – a group exhibition detailing the pervasive modes and technologies of surveillance in the making of contemporary society. You can take a virtual tour of the exhibition or take a closer look at the individual artworks here. How to Disappear will be available on the Goodman Gallery’s website until 25 June 2020.

If that wasn’t enough to keep you entertained and enlightened, join the Goodman Gallery on Facebook for live artist sit-downs and live streams from around the world. It’s a great way to stay connected with fellow art lovers and expand your knowledge on all things art-related during this period.

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Starting this Saturday, 20 June, Goodman Gallery is pleased to present a @shirin__neshat online film programme, featuring a selection of preeminent films from the artist's career. Over the course of five days, ten different films from Neshat's oeuvre will be made available for 24 hours to view online, beginning at 19h00 CET each day. https://www.goodman-gallery.art/film-programme __________ Programme: Saturday 20 June: Women Without Men (2009) Sunday 21 June: Dreamers trilogy: Illusions and Mirrors (2013); Sarah (2016); Roja (2016) Monday 22 June: Turbulent (1998); Rapture (1999); Soliloquy (1999) Tuesday 23 June: Tooba (2002); The Last Word (2003) Wednesday 24 June: Looking for Oum Kulthum (2017) #ShirinNeshat #GoodmanGallery

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Johannesburg Art Gallery

So, you’ve never visited the Johannesburg Art Gallery? Here’s your chance! JAG have partnered with Google Arts and Culture to bring you a virtual iteration of the The Evidence of Things Not Seen: Photography and Resistance exhibition. The title of this work references in part, James Baldwin’s book of the same title, speaking to the intangible but pervasive nature of identity. Using works from the JAG collection exclusively by artists of colour, this exhibition looks at the influential role photography played as a visual weapon and means to document the struggle against apartheid.

Once you have thoroughly explored this JAG collection, get out your virtual VISA and go on a tour to the world’s best museums with Google Arts & Culture. Their collection spans the globe, traversing the centuries to take you on a journey through art history. Tons of time on your hands? This is the perfect solution, so hurry up and get exploring!

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Johannesburg Art Gallery

Do you know of any other local museums or galleries offering virtual tours? Let us know about them!

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