We expect an even larger response to this year’s fair off the back of the overwhelming response in previous years. SculptX 2019 showcased 90 artists and over 300 artworks in The Melrose Gallery and public spaces throughout the urban precinct. It is unusual to see so many sculptures exhibited in the same space and visitors each year are captivated by the scintillating energy that they create whilst in dialogue with each other.
The Fair takes place throughout the month of September and makes an exciting addition to the plethora of arts and culture related fairs, exhibitions and activations taking place throughout the city.
Artists from all over South Africa and some invited guests from the Continent of Africa submit sculptures across mediums ranging from crystal, plastic, carbon fibre and wood, to bronze, bone, stone, found objects, virtual reality and others. Over 500 works were submitted to the curators for consideration last year.
The Fair was conceptualised in order to provide a valuable platform for the promotion of sculptors and sculpture. It therefore allows the curator to take liberties in terms of the inclusion of both respected established sculptors alongside emerging artists which is not typically the case.
Previous years have included the likes of Noria Mabasa, Willie Bester, Pitika Ntuli, Pat Mautloa, Wilma Cruise, Adejoke Tugbiyele, Paul du Toit, Gordon Froud, Anton Smit, Carl Roberts, Philiswa Lila, Keith Calder, Andre Stead, Strijdom van der Merwe and numerous others.
The established artists attract serious collectors and the media who in turn discover new emerging talents. Exhibiting alongside some of South Africa’s most respected artists also has motivational, educational and economic benefits.
Every year new artists are discovered and are given the ability to generate revenue as sales to art collectors, corporates and museums are typically brisk. Many sculpture enthusiasts wait until SculptX to make their annual acquisitions as they are able to view so many works in one space and are able to consider works that would typically not be shown alongside those of established artists.
SculptX 2020 is to be curated by Ruzy Rusike and she intends building on previous years focus on promoting and attracting more female artists to what has traditionally been a male dominated genre.
“The Fair takes place in The Melrose Gallery and flows out into public spaces and other suitable venues throughout the Melrose Arch urban precinct.” - Craig Mark, Director at The Melrose Gallery
The Fair takes place in The Melrose Gallery and flows out into public spaces and other suitable venues throughout the Melrose Arch urban precinct. Some of the larger outdoor works then remain on display for longer periods on agreement with the artists and this creates a permanent urban sculpture park for the benefit of those who live, work and play in the precinct.
The Melrose Gallery is to be refurbished and the new 700 sq m space will provide the perfect vessel to display sculptural work and exciting installations. Melrose Arch has once again agreed to the display of larger outdoor works in public spaces and various other venues have been identified for SculptX 2020.
Parties interested in participating will need to confirm their interest by emailing their profile and some images of their works to email@example.com by Monday 4 May 2020.
Artworks will need to be delivered in the week of 10 August, larger outdoor works will be installed in the week of the 21st August and SculptX will run from 30 August to 25 October 2020.
The opening of SculptX each year is always exceptionally well attended and has become a highlight of the Johannesburg art calendar and this will take place on 29 August at 6:30pm. The curator will be planning various walkabouts and other sculpture related activations throughout the month.
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