Artists donate works for Africa’s first major contemporary art museum

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is almost here.


Christie’s – the historic British auction house – has just announced that they will be selling works to benefit the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MoCAA) in Cape Town. With donations from artists like El Anatsui, Isaac Julian, Harland Miller, Athi-Patra Ruga and more up for auction on 8 March, all proceeds will go towards the yet to be completed museum's collection, which is slated to open on 22 September 2017.

Designed by Thomas Heatherwick the nine-story space is being built to inhabit an old grain silo at the city’s V&A Waterfront and is the first major contemporary art museum in Africa. It reimagines the museum space within an African context to provide a space for artists of the continent to preserve their own cultural legacy, write their own histories and define themselves on their own terms.

The  recently revealed three of the African artists who will take centre stage when they open their doors: the Swaziland-born, South Africa-based artist Nandipha Mntambo; Zimbabwean artist and activist Kudzanai Chiurai; and Angolan artist Edson Chagas will all host exhibitions of their work and each will take over an entire floor of the fledgling institution.

In addition to this, noted South African photographer Roger Ballen – who is among the artists contributing their works for auction by Christie’s – will be donating his entire body of work to the museum.

The Zeitz MoCAA also plans to honour an Access for All Campaign, meaning that no one will ever be turned away from Zeitz MOCAA due to their inability to afford admission. Access for All will ensure the museum has free-entry days every week.

“Zeitz MOCAA is dedicated to creating a platform for artists from Africa and the world, and providing access for all to our exhibitions and programming,” explains executive director and chief curator Mark Coetzee. ”The extraordinary generosity of artists from around the world in donating to this fundraising auction will guarantee that we fulfil our mission for years to come.”

The plans for Zeitz MoCAA were first unveiled by Heatherwick at the Design Indaba Conference 2014.