Arts and Culture in Johannesburg

For the arts and culture aficionado, the city has a thriving art scene, straddling European and African genres, the latter increasingly from all over the continent.

You can also see the city’s growing public art, which reflects a variety of artistic expressions. The carved wooden heads in Newtown, the giant eland in Braamfontein, Kentridge’s 13-metre high statue opposite Metro Mall and the sports figures outside Coca Cola (Ellis) Park are among the many artworks worth seeing.

Art lovers are seriously spoilt for choice as more galleries are popping up, reflecting the growing interest in local art and artists. You can choose from fine art to contemporary art to African art, all abound in the city’s galleries.

A number of galleries house permanent collections (like Johannesburg Art Gallery) while most have temporary exhibitions where work can be viewed or purchased. The best way to be notified about new exhibitions is to get onto the gallery’s mailing list. That way you’ll be invited to openings and get to sip wine with the arty types.

If you’re not sure where to start, head to the gallery strip in Parkwood and Rosebank where you’ll find big galleries like Everard Read and the Goodman Gallery with exciting smaller ones down the road. The city boasts several corporate collections too: one of these, held by Absa bank, is said to be the largest such collection in the world.

Theatres abound too, each offering their own style and flavour. The Market Theatre in Newtown, once famous for hosting anti-apartheid plays, still produces interesting local theatre. The Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein is where you’ll find a variety of popular shows and their annual pantomime crowd-puller. The theatres in the casinos showcase more commercial productions like the big musicals that seem to be growing in popularity.

Click here for a list of the area's galleries, cultural institutes and theaters.

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191 Oxford Road, Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2132

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