South Africa’s Goodman Gallery to Open Its Permanent Location in New York with an office and viewing room

Goodman Gallery Johannesburg

Goodman Gallery, the premier art enterprise from South Africa, has unveiled plans to establish a more permanent presence in New York. This pivotal move forms part of the gallery’s ambitious strategy to further amplify the voices and art of the global South, while enhancing exposure to the Western audience.

Scheduled to open its doors on September 6, in conjunction with the esteemed week of The Armory Show in New York, the new location will be situated in the posh Upper East Side neighborhood. This expands upon the gallery’s already renowned spaces in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and London – the latter being a 2019 addition.

However, those anticipating a traditional gallery space might need to adjust their expectations. As described by owner and director, Liza Essers, the New York establishment will function more as an office, accompanied by a viewing room. This intimate setup is intended for “focused presentations” that spotlight artists predominantly from the African continent and other regions of the global South.

In a recent statement, Essers commented on the world’s growing attention towards these artists, emphasizing the timely nature of Goodman Gallery’s expansion. “It does feel like a very good time to be opening in New York and having a closer presence to the United States,” she expressed. The gallery’s vision is not only to showcase these artists but also to create a conducive space where curators, without the need to fly to South Africa, can delve deeper into an artist’s craft.

This significant move isn’t solely about amplifying the art but also about building connections. The gallery’s strategy primarily targets New York-based museum representatives, journalists, and critics. Goodman’s goal is to foster a deeper understanding of the gallery’s program and the artists they champion.

The Goodman Gallery has a profound history, being established in 1966 amidst the apartheid era. It holds the distinction of being among the few galleries of that time to display the works of Black artists. In this new expansion, the gallery plans to feature creations from renowned artists like Kapwani Kiwanga, who is slated to represent Canada at the 2024 Venice Biennale, along with David Koloane, Misheck Masamvu, and Gabrielle Goliath.

Liza Essers, who took the gallery’s helm in 2008, has been mulling over a permanent space in New York for several years. This initiative is a leap forward from the gallery’s temporary stint in East Hampton, which was deemed more of a situational strategy.

As the gallery readies itself to unfurl this new chapter, it stands as a testament to its enduring commitment to showcasing art from the global South and enhancing their representation in the West.

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