South Africa is rated one of the most dynamic regions for the sale of contemporary art in the world. The world’s revenues for contemporary art amount to over €3.6 million. Stephan Weltz & Co. in Johannesburg and Strauss & Co. in Tokai, Cape Town are among the leading sellers.
The awakening of international interest and demand is crucial because the market remains restricted and will take some time before artists are recognized on the international scene.
High prices have been built up as a result of artists at art fairs, biennials and major international exhibitions. To note in the last 20 years are
Africa Explores: 20th Century African Art at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York in 1991
Africa Remix ( an exhibition that travelled between Düsseldorf, London, Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm and Johannesburg ) 2004 to 2007
South African artists with international stature
William Kentridge, South African artist best known for his prints, drawings, and animated films .
Kendell Geers South African conceptual artist
Marlene Dumas - South African born artist and painter who lives and works in Amsterdam
A new generation is now emerging, supported by backers such as London’s Saatchi Gallery and he Pangaea: New art from Africa and Latin America exhibition.
In 2014 the Tate Modern pursued a program of exhibitions and acquisitions of the works of African artists, in partnership with the Guaranty Trust Bank since 2012.
The best-represented artists of African origin on the international scene are often either mobile or live outside Africa. There is no doubt that living in London or New York improves their chances of success, particularly at auction.
Africa’s biggest contemporary art museum is currently under construction in Cape Town with exhibition spaces of the 6,000 m² Zeitz MOCAA will open late 2016, and will house the collection of Jochen Zeitz, as well as temporary exhibitions.