The 10 Best Contemporary Art Galleries In South Africa

Known for its rich ethnic and cultural diversity, South Africa is a hotbed of artists and galleries which fuse western and traditionally African influences / Pixabay
Known for its rich ethnic and cultural diversity, South Africa is a hotbed of artists and galleries which fuse western and traditionally African influences / Pixabay
Laurence Gardner

Known for its rich ethnic and cultural diversity, South Africa is a hotbed of artists and galleries which fuse western and traditionally African influences. Here we take a look at the country’s top ten contemporary art galleries to inspire the art enthusiast within you.



The WHATIFTHEWORLD gallery is a rising star and a hotspot for emerging artists who create innovative and exciting work. Whether in solo or group exhibitions, the gallery has helped launch the careers of a number of high-profile South African artists working today.

1 Argyle St, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, +27 21 447 2376

2. Goodman Gallery

Goodman Gallery

Goodman Gallery© Goodman Gallery

The Goodman Gallery is actively dedicated to supporting both respected and emerging South African artists within its two gallery spaces in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Since its opening in 1966, the gallery has become an influential force in contemporary art in South Africa, having been at the forefront of the 1985 Art Against Apartheid exhibition.

3rd Floor, Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Rd, Foreshore, Cape Town, 7925, +27 21 462 7573

3. Fine Art Gallery

Art Gallery

Having moved to its new location in Buchanan Square in Cape Town in 2010, the 34 Fine Art Gallery exhibits an array of well-known and unfamiliar South African artists alongside a number of prominent international artists.

4. Gallery MOMO

Gallery MOMO

Gallery MOMO© Tristan McLare/Gallery MOMO

Since it opened in 2003, the Gallery MOMO has been at the forefront of the contemporary art scene in Johannesburg, regularly hosting exhibitions of both local and international artists who are still in the infancy of their careers.

52 7th Ave, Johannesburg, 2193, +27 11 327 3247

5. The Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery

Art Gallery

Uwe Wittwer at SMAC Gallery Cape Town
© Kevin/Flickr
As one of the largest commercial exhibition spaces in the Western Cape, the Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery is widely known for its focus on contemporary art movements in South Africa such as the modernist abstract period and the protest period. The gallery is also committed to building up contacts within the international art community and, in 2009, it sponsored three artists’ entry into the 53rd Venice Biennale.

6. Fried Contemporary

Art Gallery

Fried Contemporary, Pretoria
© Fried Contemporary
Established in 2005, Fried Contemporary have become the leading contemporary art gallery in Pretoria. Based in Brooklyn Pretoria , Fried aims to showcase the best the Capital City has to offer, from emerging to more established artists and curators. Focusing mainly on South African artists, Fried Contemporary gallery has three dedicated rooms that exhibits different artists or group shows every month.

7. Stevenson Gallery

Building, Art Gallery

Moshekwa Langa
Courtesy of Stevenson CPT
With gallery spaces in Cape Town and Johannesburg, the Stevenson Gallery hosts both emerging and established artists and often participates in a number of international art fairs. The gallery also founded the FOREX program, which was founded in 2009, and has brought the works of a number of international artists to South Africa.

8. The AVA Gallery

Art Gallery

One of Cape Town’s most respected galleries, the AVA Gallery opened in 1972. For the last four decades, it has been hosting and nurturing South African artists from a variety of different mediums in four exhibition rooms.

9. KZNSA Gallery

Building, Cinema, Art Gallery

9. KZNSA Gallery
© KZNSA Gallery
Originally established over a century ago as an informal opportunity for artists to gather and exchange ideas, the KZNSA Gallery is today better known as one of Durban’s leading contemporary art galleries. It exhibits both South African and international artists, while also offering educational classes and a cinema, all housed in a building designed by an award winning architect.

10. Knysna Fine Art

Art Gallery

Knysna Fine Art, Knysna
© Knysna Fine Art
Whilst the Knysna Fine Art gallery focuses on South African artists, the gallery often exhibits the works of international artists, displaying a number of paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. The gallery also works closely with a number of dealers and collectors and has sold works by a number of high-profile South African artists.

By Laurence Gardner
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