The gallery has a long history in South African art. It was established by Linda Goodman (now Givon) in 1966 and, from the outset, supported and encouraged artists to exhibit despite the strictures of apartheid. It was involved in the seminal Art Against Apartheid exhibition in 1985 and held shows that spoke out against the repressive apartheid regime.
In 2008, Givon sold the gallery to Liza Essers who has brought several new artists into the Goodman fold and has maintained a strong international connection for the gallery.
The Goodman Gallery has evolved into the leading contemporary art institution in Africa and has featured at Art Basel and Art Basel Miami since 2003. The Gallery is home to forty artists including visual art luminaries such as William Kentridge, Kendell Geers and David Goldblatt. It is crucial that the gallery continues to support and show the work of these established artists, yet equally important is bringing new voices and the next generation of contemporary artists from South Africa and the continent to the world’s attention.
As well as taking South African artists to major international museum shows and fairs such as Art Basel, Art Basel Miami and the Armory Show in New York, and getting their work into major international collections, the Goodman Gallery has brought various international artists to South Africa to exhibit alongside local artists in order extend the dialogue. African-born artists such as Ghada Amer and Kader Attia powerfully confront Northern African politics, post-colonialism and social despotism, and have both been included in the gallery’s programme. African-American artists Hank Willis Thomas and Kara Walker, who both elucidate on the global effects of oppression inflicted by one race on another, have also been included. Also critical is including the work of established South African artists such as Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin and Candice Breitz, and re-engaging with the dialogue that they began before relocating overseas.
The gallery has major spaces in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and has also opened Goodman Gallery Projects at Arts on Main in the Johannesburg CBD. The Project Space is intended as an experimental space for younger and emerging artists, and for experimental or non-commercial projects and installations.
For more information please visit Goodman Gallery