Artists from the Global South

Pauline Loeb sat with Liza Essers, the emblematic director of Goodman Gallery, based in Johannesburg, Cape Town, London and New York, to talk about artists from South Africa and the Global South.

In this two-part interview, Pauline Loeb speaks with Liza Essers, the renowned director of Goodman Gallery. Established in 1966 as a rare space for black artists during apartheid in South Africa, Essers has transformed the gallery into a globally recognized institution. They discuss the gallery’s expansion while maintaining a strong commitment to art that confronts power structures and inspires social change. Essers emphasizes the importance of representing a diverse range of experiences and voices, particularly from the Global South, to enrich the global dialogue in art.

The conversation then shifts to the gallery’s strategic approach to artist representation. Essers speaks about the blend of emerging and established artists in their roster, such as Shirin Neshat and Elanat Sli, and the factors influencing their selection. She highlights the gallery’s focus on artists who are not only talented but also deeply committed to impacting the world through their art. Further, Essers discusses the gallery’s participation in major art fairs and its expansion with an office in New York, underscoring Goodman Gallery’s role in the broader art market. The interview concludes with a discussion on the gallery’s educational initiatives, emphasizing its role in providing art education in South Africa and its functioning as a space for public engagement and learning.

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