Located in the bustle of the Johannesburg inner city, the Johannesburg Art Gallery is one of South Africa’s oldest and most recognised public art museums. This cultural gem is slowly but surely shedding its history as a colonial façade towards an institution that embraces its vibrant, though somewhat challenging surroundings. Over the past few years we have taken a long hard look at what kind of institution the JAG ought to be going forward, realising that riding on the coat-tails of previous achievements is not where we need to be. The exhibitions and talks programmes that we have embarked on including the exhibition All Your Faves Are Problematic (2018) Ngoma: Art and Cosmology (2019) as well as the Comics Exhibition (2019) illustrate our desire to tap into different kinds of audiences and to shift the hitherto existing lenses through which the JAG collection is viewed.
We have also hosted a number of talks that are intended to bring to the fore questions which have emerged in recent years. Some of the talks have cantered around the impact of the newly formed private museums around the country as well as the contentious topic of repatriation and the colonial legacies of South African museums.
The Johannesburg Art Gallery has had a long and fruitful partnership with FNB Art Joburg (previously FNB Joburg Art Fair). This continues to be a valuable platform for us to share our content and outlook and to partake in the evolving art market that FNB Art Joburg represents.