See Inside the New Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art, Said to Be Africa’s Largest Museum

Billed as the continent's largest museum, the institution opens with a sprawling survey of African contemporary art.

Zeitz MOCAA's Exterior at Dusk, courtesy of Heatherwick Studio. Photo: Iwan Baan.
Zeitz MOCAA's Exterior at Dusk, courtesy of Heatherwick Studio. Photo by Iwan Baan.

All eyes are on Cape Town as the public prepares to get a glimpse of the long-awaited Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA). The spectacular Thomas Heatherwick-designed institution has been trumpeted as Africa’s largest museum. The opening festivities, scheduled for September 22 through 25, will bring thousands of international art-world visitors to the city’s V&A Waterfront district.

The massive former grain silo structure is an architectural feat. Heatherwick assembled the building’s more than 80 exhibition spaces around a towering atrium carved in the shape of a single grain, a nod to the structure’s former life. The lion’s share of the museum’s collection is on long-term loan from Jochen Zeitz, the former CEO of Puma.

For the museum’s inauguration, MOCAA’s executive director and chief curator Mark Coetzee has put together a combination of solo exhibitions by African artists—including Zimbabwean artist Kudzanai Chiurai, Angolan photographer Edson Chagas, and South African sculptor Nandipha Mntambo—as well as “All Things Being Equal,” a sprawling survey of contemporary artists working on the continent.

View a selection of works from the opening exhibitions below.

At front: Athi-Patra Ruga, Proposed Model for Tseko Simon Nkoli Memorial (2017). At back: Penny Siopsis's "Transfigure" paintings, (2017). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

At front: Athi-Patra Ruga, Proposed Model for Tseko Simon Nkoli Memorial (2017). At back: Penny Siopis’s “Transfigure” paintings, (2017). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

 

Interior of the Centre for the Moving Image, with works by Samson Kambalu on view. Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Interior of the Centre for the Moving Image, with works by Samson Kambalu on view. Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Isaac Julien's Ten Thousand Waves (2010). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Isaac Julien’s Ten Thousand Waves (2010). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Kendell Geers, installation view of Hanging Piece (1993). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Kendell Geers, installation view of Hanging Piece (1993). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Lungiswa Gqunta's Divider (2016). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Lungiswa Gqunta’s Divider (2016). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Mary Sibande's In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity (2017). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Mary Sibande’s In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity (2017). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Installation view of an untitled series of photographs from 2012 by Mohau Modisakeng. Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Installation view of an untitled series of photographs from 2012 by Mohau Modisakeng. Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Roger Ballen's Artist (2013), and Nostalgia (2010). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Roger Ballen’s Artist (2013) and Nostalgia (2010). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Wangechi Mutu's The End of Carrying All (2015). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Wangechi Mutu’s The End of Carrying All (2015). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Kudzanai Chiurai's Moyo II (2013). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.

Kudzanai Chiurai’s Moyo II (2013). Courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA.


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