Writing Art History Since 2002

ART AFRICA magazine was founded in 2002 by Suzette and Brendon Bell-Roberts. As a dedicated art publishing platform, we amplify progressive voices challenging the status quo by acknowledging individuals, institutions, and organisations actively working to redress historical narratives.

 

Born out of a vision to showcase the diverse and dynamic creative production emerging from the African continent and the diaspora, the Middle East and the Global South – ART AFRICA has played a pivotal role in fostering a global appreciation for African artistic expression. 

 

ART AFRICA features in-depth interviews with influential artists and professionals, critically analyses art movements, and explores the biennale model and global art events through in-depth editorial and visual showcases.

 

ART AFRICA seeks to actively support individuals and projects that positively impact societies and the environment in an ever-changing world. Additionally, we significantly recognise the artists leveraging their success to establish institutions that support their direct communities and invest in the youth and their future.

 

Our extensive global network and decades of media reportage have allowed us to forge strategic partnerships with the leading art fairs, biennales and events championing African and diaspora art in the Global South.

 

ART AFRICA‘s strategic partnerships are central to our mission to constantly present new work from emerging markets while investing in regions in the Global South and the Middle East that recognise the importance of cultural development and its impact on shaping the future.

 

Suzette and Brendon Bell-Roberts live between Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, where they run the ART AFRICA Foundation and residencies.

 

ART AFRICA‘s approach embraces diverse points of view without discrimination, and we firmly reject any form of hate speech. 

Art Testimonials

What our supporters say:

Importantly Art Africa is the only publication that we can proudly take abroad and use to introduce and gain further exposure for art and artists of our country. As such it serves as valuable ambassadorial ‘cultural ammunition’ to showcase our artistic production and emergent creative industries. I believe that they should be widely circulated internationally, as well as nationally and locally. Copies of the publication also become important reference documentation and contribute to a valuable and necessary archive. Where numerous other arts publications have withered and disappeared Art Africa has miraculously survived – this in itself is testament to its worth and evidences its value within the sector.

Dominic
Dominic Thorburn Professor and Head of Department Rhodes University School of Art

Art Africa, the premier contemporary art journal in South Africa, is the window on South African art for the rest of the world — and has been since its launching in 2002. From where I sit in the U.S., I’m convinced that the wider art communities – museums & galleries, art schools & libraries, collectors, critics, artists – want to know what’s happening on the South African art scene. The feature essays in Art Africa provide valuable viewpoints, and the exhibition reviews keep us current on younger, up-and-coming artists. Art Africa offers a ready-made vehicle of cultural diplomacy.

janet stanley
Janet Stanley Librarian, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

Art Africa’s audience is diverse and reaches across both secondary and tertiary education levels, academic and popular readerships. It is a sought after marker of contemporary visual arts and cross-disciplinary work in South Africa (and across the African continent) by international tertiary institutions, galleries, museums and cultural organisations. If one is looking for a barometer for contemporary visual arts and cross-disciplinary work in Africa then Art Africa provides such an instrument. Furthermore, it is a publication that has managed to sustain high levels of journalistic and design excellence and has become an acknowledged source of in-depth information in its field.

David Andrew
David Andrew Associate Professor and Head division Visual arts, Wits School of the arts, University of Witwatersrand

Art Africa

The History of ART AFRICA. Writing art history since 2002

For too long, there was too little written about contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora. Writing art history from an African perspective is essential to changing the narrative about art from the continent and owning it proudly.

After opening our contemporary art gallery in 1999, our next step was to launch ART AFRICA in 2002. Our conviction was that Africa had to take a proud stance and to showcase itself from the continent and with an African voice. It has never been easy to navigate between the 54 countries that make up the continent, never mind the cultural and language differences. But through intellectual dialogue and the discourse on the internationalism and multiculturalism of the arts from Africa – we have made it easier to navigate the conversations.

In 2015 we went international, changing the title of the publication to ART AFRICA. Over the last 18 years, the magazine has become a collector’s item – our highly curated editorial strategy and intelligent design ensure that every single edition of the magazine makes a valuable addition to our archive. The publication is also a vital resource, found on the library shelves of global art collectors, museums and gallery directors, academics, artists and those just wanting to learn more about contemporary from Africa.

Through insightful positioning pieces, in-depth interviews, features, profiles, and reviews, ART AFRICA captures and reports on the latest developments around contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora.

ART AFRICA is on the move, experimental, provocative, intelligent, ART AFRICA today sees itself as a vehicle that celebrates Africa’s future-present. Always optimistic – even at the heart of a dark reflection – ART AFRICA conjures possibility, champions dreams and tracks innovation; inspired by a worldwide transformation in communications, business models, design thinking, and art practice, ART AFRICA is here to show and tell us about the positive outcomes of risk-taking. Focused on African culture, creativity and the arts in general while holding onto its core market – the visual arts – ART AFRICA understands that life is meaningless without dreams, tastes hollow without love, and viewpoints pretentious if not profoundly felt. Fusing a great heart with a great mind proves the greatest challenge. ART AFRICA delivers this vision.

Art Patrons

We’d like you to be a patron:

The pervasive Coronavirus pandemic has thrown the world into mayhem. Galleries have closed, art fairs have closed, and so many art print publications have closed their doors. This has affected us all, the artists, the writers, the curators, the biennales and art fairs. This the cultural ecology that ART AFRICA publication supports and vice versa.

ART AFRICA needs your assistance as patrons of the arts to keep ongoing.

Every contribution will make a difference and will help us to continue to write African art history from an African perspective and, proudly, from the African continent.

We need to be able to commission our writers and contributors. We need to nurture emerging artists and creative practitioners so that the next wave of thought leaders can build on what we have been able to achieve so far!

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