Creative Block at the Turbine Art Fair.
Creative Block at the Turbine Art Fair.
Image: Supplied

An established presence on the local art fair circuit, the Turbine Art Fair (TAF) celebrated its 10th edition in 2022. Designed initially as a more affordable and accessible fair aimed at a newer and more diverse audience of art collectors and buyers, TAF takes its name from its original venue in the Turbine Hall in downtown Jozi.

After a move to a group of office buildings in Illovo before the widespread disruption caused by Covid-19 lockdowns, the fair relocated in 2022 to the underground car park of arty new Rosebank precinct Oxford Parks. The idea to literally go underground was hatched in collaboration with property developers Intaprop, and worked surprisingly well. The volume of the car park was large enough to ensure each gallery exhibiting could show work to good advantage, and the industrial environs brought a stylish background to the fair’s proceedings.

More than 40 galleries and exhibits showcased work in most mediums, though there was a paucity of sculpture, and a strong focus on prints and multiples, in line with the stated aim of the TAF to offer and price work on exhibition at accessible levels. Special projects on show in 2022 included TAF Unearthed, which is a sustainability initiative geared to developing professional practice among emerging artists and showcasing their work.

Isaac Zavale: Majika.
Isaac Zavale: Majika.
Image: Supplied
Jeanne Hoffmann: Balancing a diamond on a blade of grass.
Jeanne Hoffmann: Balancing a diamond on a blade of grass.

The TAF Grad Show presented work from various academic institutions around the country, and a highlight of the fair was the special project group show titled “A Pebble in the Mouth”, curated by artist Maja Marx and running under the regular fair banner of “TAF Off the Grid”. Elsewhere, well-known artist Kagiso Pat Mautloa presented a solo show under the fair banner “TAF Capsule”, and the regular TAF Talks programme covered an array of topics from collecting practices to Johannesburg and multiculturalism.

The TAF once again partnered with US-based online art sales and marketing platform Artsy, providing each gallery and exhibitor with additional reach and widening the market for African art.

Mbali Tshabalala: Finding Self
Mbali Tshabalala: Finding Self
Image: Supplied

TAF founder Glynis Hyslop concludes: “We had over 6,000 unique visitors this year, and felt that our new venue and our galleries and exhibits were exactly in line with our positioning and our approach. Because we’ve kept our fair accessible and prices down we’ve seen brisk sales across the board this year, despite a sluggish global art market and stagnant economy. One gallery sold a remarkable 24 pieces of work. We look forward to what next year holds.”

www.turbineartfair.co.za 

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