Often referred to as Africa’s answer to the Tate Modern, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, built over nine floors, with 100 gallery spaces, is the largest art museum in Africa. It is also home to the largest collection of African contemporary art in the world. A renovated grain silo, which was once the highest building in Africa, the architecture on the outside is nothing short of spectacular. This is matched inside with an award winning design that is bold, bright and contemporary. It makes maximum use of natural light that gives the building a spiritual feel as if you inside an industrial post-modern cathedral. The art featured is a who’s who of the African and its diaspora modern art scene and the gallery has been getting consistently rave reviews.
As well as galleries there is education rooms, a restaurant, reading rooms, a rooftop sculpture garden and a bookshop. Located in the V & A Silo district, it’s just a short stroll from the V & A Waterfront. Under 18s are free.
Situated at the heart of the beautiful Company Gardens sits the maternal grandmother of Fine Art in South Africa, the South African National Gallery. Since 1930 the gallery has played host to some of the greatest arts work in South Africa, through both its permanent collection and regular temporary exhibitions. The gallery has excelled in marrying the competing aesthetics of the more traditional bequests of 19th and early 20th century art with the more challenging post colonial works from emerging African artists. It is the permanent home to Jane Alexander’s The Butcher Boys, arguably the most famous piece of modern art sculpture in Africa.
It’s a large, airy, cool space perfect for whiling away an hour or two as you learn more about South African art as well as featured works from across the content. Its location is walking distance to both the Slave Lodge and The South African Museum making it the ideal central point for a museum meander along with the squirrels under the trees in Government Avenue.
Just a short hop from Greenmarket Square down Burg Street, is Church Street, a pretty pedestrianised alley that is chock-full of coffee shops, restaurants, market stalls, antique shops and galleries. At the heart of the street is WORLDART. WORLDART is a small, intimate gallery with a very big global reach. WORLDART is a contemporary art gallery that collaborates with local artists that pursue an urban African aesthetic. Their objective is to build an international platform to introduce local artists' work to a wider international audience.
It is a clean, well lit, welcoming space which is a prefect respite from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town. The staff are very friendly and exceptionally knowledgeable about local artists and the South African art scene in general.