Known for its revolutionary commitment to South African art, the Goodman Gallery under new director Liza Essers, continues to build on its vision to show brave and accomplished contemporary artwork from South Africa and abroad.
Founded in 1966 by Linda Givon, the Goodman Gallery aimed to support and encourage artists to exhibit, despite the strictures of apartheid, and to foster a vibrant cultural forum. With the advent of democracy, many of the ideas and narratives developed under the concept of ‘art for advocacy’ have necessarily shifted to encompass new aesthetic, social and political themes, both local and global.
The Goodman Gallery continues to support and promote artists whose work is engaged, courageous and challenging, with a focus on artists from South Africa and the continent, as well as international artists whose work engages in a dialogue with the African context.
With principal spaces in both Johannesburg and Cape Town, Goodman Gallery recently opened Goodman Gallery Projects at Arts on Main, the new arts precinct in downtown Johannesburg. This space is intended to provide a platform for younger and emerging South African artists to exhibit, and for special projects and installations. In Cape Town the gallery is also represented at the One & Only hotel in the V & A Waterfront.
Since acquiring the Goodman Gallery in 2008, Liza Essers has launched a number of new directions and initiatives that have extended the galleries’ participation in international events and developed closer collaborations with international museums and galleries. For over a decade Goodman Gallery has been the only South African gallery at the world’s premier art fair, Art Basel, and has in recent years also exhibited at Art Basel Miami Beach, the Armory Show in New York, Paris Photo and the Joburg Art Fair. Multiple ongoing collaborations have also been launched. In October 2009, the Goodman Gallery collaborated with Air de Paris, Galleria Continua, Gallerie Krinzinger, Kamel Mennour, Almine Rech Gallery and Esther Schipper to present Sphères, at Le Moulin, France.
Coming up next year is Eleven/TwentyTen, a series of site-specific shows in and around Johannesburg and Cape Town over the period of the Soccer World Cup in June/July 2010. Showcasing emerging and established African artists and major international artists, Eleven/TwentyTen will involve exhibitions, performances, screenings and installations in public spaces across the two cities.