Cape Town is known for its diverse art scene, with galleries featuring everything from contemporary to traditional art, from painting to sculpture and installations. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or just looking to explore the local art scene, there are plenty of galleries to choose from. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top art galleries in Cape Town, highlighting their unique features and what makes them stand out from the crowd.
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Zeitz MOCAA, or the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, is one of the most popular and impressive galleries in Cape Town. Located in the heart of the V&A Waterfront, this museum is home to one of the largest collections of contemporary African art in the world. The building itself is an architectural masterpiece, with a stunning glass atrium and a series of exhibition spaces spread over nine floors.
The collection includes works by some of the most important contemporary African artists, such as Kudzanai Chiurai, Zanele Muholi, and William Kentridge. Visitors can also enjoy a range of other facilities, including a rooftop sculpture garden, a gift shop, and a café. Guided tours are available, and there are often temporary exhibitions and events taking place throughout the year.
Address: V&A Waterfront Silo District, S Arm Rd, Waterfront, Cape Town
Phone Number: 087 350 4777
The Goodman Gallery is one of the oldest and most respected contemporary art galleries in South Africa, with a history dating back to the 1960s. Today, it represents some of the most prominent artists from across the continent and beyond, including David Goldblatt, William Kentridge, and Shirin Neshat.
Located in Woodstock, the gallery is housed in a former warehouse and has a minimalist, industrial aesthetic that provides a striking backdrop for the artworks on display. The exhibitions here are always thought-provoking and challenging, often engaging with social and political issues in South Africa and beyond.
Address: 37A Somerset Rd, Green Point, Cape Town
Phone Number: 021 462 7573
Everard Read Gallery
Everard Read Gallery is one of the oldest art galleries in South Africa, with a history that dates back to 1913. Today, it represents some of the country’s most respected and established artists, as well as emerging talent. The gallery’s focus is on contemporary painting and sculpture, with a particular emphasis on figurative art.
Located in the city centre, the gallery has a spacious, light-filled exhibition space that allows the artworks to shine. In addition to the main gallery, there is also an adjoining sculpture garden, which is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city.
Address: Ulundi House, Portswood Square, Portswood Ridge, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
Phone Number: 021 418 4527
The South African National Gallery
The South African National Gallery is the premier public art museum in Cape Town, with a collection that spans over 400 years of South African art history. The museum’s collection includes works by some of the country’s most important artists, including Irma Stern, Gerard Sekoto, and William Kentridge.
In addition to its permanent collection, the South African National Gallery also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing contemporary artists from South Africa and beyond. There is also a library, a gift shop, and a café on site.
Address: Government Ave, Gardens, Cape Town
99 Loop Gallery
99 Loop Gallery is a contemporary art gallery located in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre. The gallery represents a diverse range of emerging and established artists from South Africa and beyond, with a particular focus on contemporary painting, photography, and sculpture.
99 Loop Gallery has a strong reputation for supporting emerging artists and providing a platform for their work. The exhibitions here are always fresh and dynamic, with a focus on showcasing new and innovative talent. In addition to the main gallery space, there is also a project space that is used for experimental and interdisciplinary exhibitions.
Address: 99 Loop St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
Phone Number: 021 422 3766
SMAC Gallery is a contemporary art gallery with locations in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. The Cape Town gallery is located in the Woodstock Exchange building, a hub for creative industries in the city. The gallery represents a range of contemporary artists from South Africa and beyond, with a focus on sculpture, installation, and video art.
SMAC Gallery has a strong curatorial focus, with exhibitions that are carefully curated to explore specific themes or issues. Some of the artists represented by the gallery include Candice Breitz, Kendell Geers, and Mary Sibande.
Address: 1st Floor, The Palms, 145 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town
Phone Number: 021 461 1029
Southern Guild is a design gallery that showcases the work of some of the most exciting contemporary designers from South Africa and beyond. The gallery’s focus is on limited-edition and one-of-a-kind pieces that push the boundaries of traditional design.
Southern Guild has a reputation for showcasing some of the most innovative and experimental design work in South Africa. The exhibitions here are always fresh and exciting, with a focus on pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of design and craftsmanship.
Address: Silo 5 Silo District, Silo District, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
Phone Number: 021 461 2856
WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery is a contemporary art gallery located in Woodstock, Cape Town. The gallery represents a range of emerging and established artists from South Africa and beyond, with a focus on contemporary painting, sculpture, and installation.
WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery has a reputation for showcasing some of the most innovative and experimental contemporary art in South Africa. The exhibitions here are always thought-provoking and challenging, with a focus on exploring contemporary issues and themes.
Address: First Floor, 16 Buiten St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
Phone Number: 021 569 0680
Cape Town is home to a vibrant and diverse art scene, with galleries that showcase everything from traditional painting and sculpture to cutting-edge contemporary installations. The galleries listed above are just a few of the top art destinations in the city, each with its own unique character and focus.
Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or just looking to explore the local art scene, there is something for everyone in Cape Town’s galleries. From the impressive Zeitz MOCAA to the experimental WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery, these galleries provide a window into the rich artistic heritage and contemporary creativity of South Africa.