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*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
Bensusan Photographic Museum, SAB World of Beer, Johannesburg Zoo, Satyagraha House, Hillbrow Tower, Enoch Sontonga Memorial Park, Moyo Restaurants, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, Johannesburg Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, Brenthurst Gardens, Nelson Mandela Bridge, Constitution Hill, Apartheid Museum, Rand Easter Show, Radium Beer Hall, Oriental Plaza, The Bag Factory, Standard Bank Gallery, MuseuMAfricA
The ABSA bank in South Africa is a staunch supporter of the arts and in 1999 the company constructed its new offices in downtown Johannesburg around splendid works of art that included a 5-storey piece by Norman Catherine. The Architects were commissioned to create the necessary spaces to house the art collection rather than having to fit the pieces into a standard gallery.
ABSA bank is an amalgamation of 4 banks of which each had an impressive collection of South African art, some dating back to 1900. The gallery was created to house the art and much care was taken to balance the art forms throughout the available space. ABSA is believed to own around 20000 works of art, many also displayed in offices and banking halls.
Aside from the traditional paintings and sculptures showcased in the gallery, there are magnificent murals and tapestries that include five brightly-woven carpet banners, the weaving work done entirely by men. There are metal sculptures, one so large and intricate that it requires steel support beams to keep it upright, while the centrepiece is a giant metal mobile that swings freely but is perfectly balanced.
Monthly exhibitions take place at the ABSA Art Gallery, ensuring fresh and dynamic displays to keep art lovers returning.
The annual L’Atelier Awards are hosted at the ABSA Art Gallery which is open to artists between the ages of 21 and 35. The winner receives a R70000 cash prize and a stay at Cité Internationale des Arts, an artist colony in the centre of Paris.
The ABSA Art Gallery is a relaxing venue, the art stimulates and feeds the soul and a welcome escape from the hectic Johannesburg way of life.
Entrance is free and opening times are 9h00 to 17h00 on weekdays only. Tours are conducted by prior appointment.