Arguably South Africa’s most celebrated artist, William Kentridge’s 40-year career has produced a body of work nothing short of spectacular.

Born in 1955, his parents were lawyers who represented many victims of Apartheid, and it is South Africa’s socio-political history that forms the backdrop to his work. At the very least, a basic understanding of this is crucial to finding true significance and meaning in his art.

Using a variety of creative mediums, including print, drawing, sculpture and tapestry, it is his series of short animated films, and the political content within, that really propelled Kentridge to the forefront of the South African art scene.

In the largest collection of his work in the United Kingdom, The Royal Academy is currently showcasing an extraordinary exhibition of Kentridge’s work, including the three-screen film, “Notes Towards a Model Opera”. This is absolutely unmissable if you are visiting London in the coming weeks. Note that the gallery remains open until 9pm on Fridays so ideal if you’re dining in Mayfair.

This week, Frieze is taking place in London with a strong lineup of galleries from across the globe, representing the world’s most influential artists and most promising newcomers. The city’s most prominent galleries have plenty of noteworthy exhibitions, including Amy Sherald: The World We Make at Hauser & Wirth, Zadie Xa: House Gods, Animal Guides and Five Ways 2 Forgiveness at the Whitechapel Gallery, Tyler Mitchell: Chrysalis at Gagosian, Sam Gilliam: Late Paintings at Pace Gallery, and a blockbuster Adrian Ghenie show, entitled The Fear of NOW, at Thaddaeus Ropac, London Ely House.

Of particular note, is Tyler Mitchell debuting new works described as a reflection “on historical motifs in the context of an Edenic vision of Black beauty and desire”. These works are being presented inside the fair and published in Frieze Masters magazine.

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair returns to Somerset House this week, celebrating its 10th anniversary in London with new and returning exhibitors presenting over 130 artists working across an array of mediums. Works from established artists include Ibrahim El-Salahi, Hassan Hajjaj, and Zanele Muholi.

There really isn’t a better time to be in London for art at its most electrifying and eclectic.

Frieze London is followed by Art Basel Paris and December’s Art Basel Miami. Beforehand, it was Frieze New York and the Venice Biennale. Paris Photo takes place from 10-13 November 2022 and let’s not forget the major auctions in London, Hong Kong and New York; the 14th Gwangju Biennale in South Korea, starting on 7th April 2023; the ever-evolving art scenes of Los Angeles; Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Nota Bene has a strong contemporary art focus. We have many art collectors as clients, travel for art being a year-round pursuit. But with this, come the all-important choices of hotels and restaurants; most unique experiences and activities, best private guides, well-chosen cars and drivers. Art-related trips are usually extremely focused and concisely planned. They rely on precision and we are often called upon for airside meet-and-greets, private aviation, changing schedules, connections to top curators, audiences with artists and special inroads to VIP previews.

If contemporary art is part of your annual travel schedule let us talk you through what we can offer.

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