X: Part III is the final presentation in a series of exhibitions celebrating the gallery’s ten-year anniversary. The show will include a variety of new, contemporary works by:
Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou
SMAC celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2017, marking an important milestone for the gallery. Over the past decade, the gallery has witnessed remarkable growth in both the South African and wider African art industry. Within this period, there has been an increase in the number of galleries, the establishment of two South African art fairs, as well as a number of international fairs dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora.
The expansion of art media and curatorial practice focussing on Africa has resulted in the rise of major collections and the establishment of private museums. Furthermore, Cape Town has grown to become a global art city with a vibrant contemporary art scene. The gallery was developed through off-site projects, the first of which was dedicated to pioneering South African artists Edoardo Villa and Cecil Skotnes in 2004 under the banner of Sandri Art.
SMAC launched its first exhibition space in 2007, in the De Wet Centre on Church Street, Stellenbosch with a solo presentation by Peter Clarke. The gallery initially focussed on curating historic exhibitions that reconsidered the South African artistic canon, often accompanied by the release of a comprehensive publication. SMAC’s programme evolved and the gallery started representing practising contemporary artists, firstly from South Africa and gradually from the African continent and further afield.
In 2010, SMAC opened a second exhibition space on Buitengracht Street in Cape Town. As the list of stable artists grew and the programme rapidly expanded, SMAC relocated to a larger gallery in November 2015 at the Palms Centre, in Woodstock, Cape Town. In September 2016, SMAC opened a third space in the landmark Trumpet Building in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
SMAC currently operates across multiple platforms, with an emphasis on participation in international art fairs. While continuing to present major curated exhibitions within the various gallery spaces, SMAC collaborates with public and private institutions to produce publications and curatorial projects. The gallery supports the facilitation of residencies and opportunities for emerging artists, with a dedicated commitment to expanding the local narrative through engaging with broader global discourses and continuing to facilitate the active exchange of ideas.
Whilst recognising that this is an important historical moment for art from South Africa and the African continent, it is important to seize the opportunities presented and work towards a lasting and sustainable legacy. SMAC is well- positioned to play a significant role and is devoted to this vision. We eagerly anticipate the next decade.
X: Part III will be open from Saturday, 9 December at 11h00, and will be on show at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch until 27 January 2018.