“Axis Gallery made New York history by integrating African art, old and new, into the fabric of the contemporary Chelsea gallery scene.”

Holland Cotter,  The New York Times, May 22, 2006


Black on White? by Mike Watson
Points of View: September, 2015

“Being a report on the hardships suffered by those IMMIGRANTS seeking refuge and betterment in Italy; and the Italian artworld’s tentative response to matters of MIGRATION. RACE and IDENTITY....

Sammy Baloji

Sammy Baloji – 13th Lyon Biennale

Sammy Baloji participates in ‘La vie moderne’ curated by Thierry Raspail and Ralph Rugoff

September 10, 2015 -January 3, 2016


Sammy Baloji : The past in front of us. Interview by Matthias Ussing Seeberg

Art & Culture, September 18, 2015

Theo Eshetu & Jebila Okungwu

Theo Eshetu & Jebila Okungwu participate in Nero Su Bianco, curated by American Academy, Rome

May 26 - June 5 , 2015

Bright Ugochukwu Eke

Bright Ugochukwu Eke participates in AFRICA AFRICANS, Museu Afro Brasil, Sao Palo

May 25 - August 30, 2016


Why Africa is the buzz at this year’s Venice Biennale. by Lauren Said Moorehouse

May 29, 2015

"Art historian Chika Okeke-Agulu hails 'The Other Memorial' by Sammy Baloji as a perfectly invoking the nation's 'rich cultural histories, and the traumas resulting from the violation of land and people.'"


1:54 The New Face of African Art in North America by Mebrak Tareke

May 29, 2015

Theo Eshetu’sAnima Mundi’ at Axis Gallery, New York was quite a head turner: a lone video gem amidst mostly framed works pegged to makeshift white walls. This work alone embodied the spirit of the fair’s debut at Pioneer Works, where art could essentially..


Diary. Studio 54

May 22, 2015

One of only two galleries from the US, Axis Gallery of New York displayed a series of early color studio portraits by Bobson Sukhdeo Mohanlall from Durban, South Africa. Mohanlall portrays his young Zulu clientele wearing beadwork, the style of which allows for...


1:54 New York - Visual Roundup

May 20, 2015

The New York edition will present a wide range of artistic voices including established and celebrated artists who have paved the way for future artistic generations, and a fast-growing number of promising emerging talent. Spanning several generations and diverse...


56th Venice Biennale / This is A Sound Proposal. by Clelia Coussonnet

Art & Culture Reviews, May 18, 2015

Sammy Baloji in his installation ‘The Other Memorial’ alludes to the ongoing plunder of resources, both human and mineral in the Congo. By decorating the copper globe-like dome with scarification marks – an homage to disappearing traditional practices – he...


A Booth-by-Booth Breakdown of the1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair . by Dylan Kerr

May 16, 2015

Must see: One of the few examples of video art in 1:54, Theo Eshetu’s mind-bending Anima Mundi, 2014. Set in a mirrored box that makes viewing the piece akin to looking down a massive kaleidoscope, the video itself cuts between pure abstraction and footage...


1:54 Contemporary Art Fair’s Worthy Frieze Week Debut. by Mostafa Heddaya

May 15, 2015

At Axis Gallery (G01), formerly of Chelsea, the photographic works of Sammy Baloji lay bare in potent juxtapositions the infrastructure of the Democratic Republic of Congo...


A Contemporary African Art Fair Arrives in New York. By Jillian Steinhauer

May 14, 2015

Axis Gallery‘s wall of dazzling photographic portraits by Bobson Sukhdeo Mohanlall — who established what Axis curator Gary van Wyk called “the first color photography studio in Africa” in 1961 in Durban, South Africa — resonates...


Top 10 Picks at 1:54 Fair. by Char Jansen

May 14, 2015

Here are our top 10 picks among the artists presented...Bobson Sukhdeo Mohanlall, Untitled # 33, Late circa 1960-70, Digital print on Fujicolor Crystal Archive, Edition of 10, 51 x 51 cm, Courtesy Axis Gallery...


A Booth-by-Booth Breakdown of the1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair . by Dylan Kerr

May 16, 2015

Must see: One of the few examples of video art in 1:54, Theo Eshetu’s mind-bending Anima Mundi, 2014. Set in a mirrored box that makes viewing the piece akin to looking down a massive kaleidoscope, the video itself cuts between pure abstraction and footage of religious rites, snakes, and wonderful performance art shenanigans.

Sammy Baloji

Sammy Baloji participates in All the world’s Futures, 56th Venice Biennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor

May 9 – November 22, 2015

Sammy Baloji

Sammy Baloji exhibits in the Belgian Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale 

Vincent Meessen and guests: Personne et les autres,curated by Katerina Gregos.

May 9 – November 22, 2015


Art of Africa: Tribal art from the continent of Africa inspires collectors by Beth D’Addono

Spring 2009

You can buy fantastic tribal work from areas that are still underrepresented, especially in southern, Northern and eastern...

Time Out, New York

‘Own this City: Passport NY: South Africa’ by Shakthi Jothianandan

April 23-29, 2009

Get the full South African art-history experience by making an appointment to tour Axis Gallery (50-52 Dobbin Street between Nassau and Norman Aves. Greenpoint, Brooklyn, 212-741-2582). ‘South African traditional art is very performance-based,” says curator...

The New York Times

‘Global Art: Talismans, a Phantom and a King’ by Holland Cotter

Art Review, Monday May 21, 2007

A decade ago Axis broke ground by specializing in traditional and contemporary material from South Africa when no one was looking twice at this art. Now museums are paying attention. This year the gallery has...a haunting white-faced sickness mask from Malawi. No doubt in a few years similar things will be de rigueur for public collections. But you saw them first here...


‘Ledelle Moe shows at Axis’ by Natasha Becker

November 6, 2006

Land is more than a sculptural installation - it is a landscape in and of itself, and this is what makes Moe's large scale installations so exciting. I am reminded of the...

The New York Times

‘A Global Smorgasbord of Wonders of the Eye’ by Holland Cotter

Art Review, Monday May 22, 2006

A few galleries specialize within the field. Axis, renowned for its exhibitions of Zulu beadwork, focuses on South Africa and has made New York history by integrating African art, old and new, into the fabric of the contemporary Chelsea gallery scene...

The Villager

‘Mahen Bonetti, ambassador of African film' By Judith Stiles

May 10-16, 2006

Are there spots in your neighborhood that you would recommend to others?

There is wonderful art in the Axis Gallery on 17th Street, which exhibits works from southern Africa – beautiful beading for weddings and aprons, paintings, and mixed media.

Art & Auction

Shifts by Elizabeth Kley. p 146.

May, 2006

Another artist concerned with transformation, Berni Searle, has her first New York solo show in 2001 at Axis Gallery...

The New York Times

Jo Smail by Holland Cotter

Art Review, Friday February 10, 2006

Ms. Smail has said that painting was her substitute for language at a time when she couldn’t speak; this seems literally true in "Tongues Wag," ...And visual speech becomes a dialogue in several small-scale collaborations between Ms. Small and her fellow countryman William Kentridge, done from 2002 to 2005...

Time Out, New York

‘New Beginnings’ by Bridget Goodbody

February 9-15, 2006

New beginnings: Jo Smail (including collaborations with William Kentridge) at Axis Gallery...

The New York Times

‘When Fabric is where culture meets style.’ By Margo Jefferson

Art Review, Friday December 13, 2005

A few days after seeing "Rara Avis," I went to the Axis Gallery in Chelsea to see "Mfengu: Personal Objects and Textiles from South Africa." It is an elegantly small collection. Skirts, cloaks and headscarves hang on the wall: this is dress as art. It is refined minimalism...

The New York Times

‘Visions of a continent that is rich with life.' By Holland Cotter

Art Review, Friday November 25, 2005

The power of female creativity courses through a small show of South African garments at the Axis Gallery in Manhattan. All but one piece was made by and for women of the Mfengu cultural group. Of several monochromatic skirts, some are white or beige-gray...

The New York Times

‘Receptacle: African Container’s’ by Roberta Smith

Art Review, Friday May 13, 2005

"Receptacle: African Containers," a stunning exhibition at the Axis Gallery in Chelsea. This nearly continental survey excludes ceramic vessels to concentrate on containers made of natural materials, especially gourds - and on man-made objects transformed through...

The New York Times

'Imprints: Works on Paper.' By Holland Cotter

Art Review, Friday March 25, 2005

Axis regularly delivers fresh news of contemporary art in South Africa. And it says much for the flow of production there that the gallery never lacks strong material. Given post-apartheid racial and social tensions, it's no surprise that much of the work is politically charged...

The New York Times

‘Clinton Fein: Warning.' By Ken Johnson

Art Review, Friday September 17, 2005

This South African provocateur’s, vitriolic, darkly comic digital montages attack President Bush, his cabinet and his Iraq policies...

The New York Times

'City and Country' by Holland Cotter

Art Review, Friday February 13, 2004

Axis, which opened in 1997, is dedicated to contemporary and traditional art of South Africa. And that the gallery has been able to offer a full schedule of substantial exhibitions, introducing a steady stream of artists to New York, is evidence of how rich in creativity....

The New York Times

'Ndebele' by Ken Johnson

Art Review, Friday January 2, 2004

At the start of the exhibition is a small wooden rifle covered in mostly white beads; it is said to have been wielded in dances expressing anticolonial resistance. So the Ndebele beadwork is not only visually gripping, but also provokes thoughts about the intersection of art and history.....

Nka: Journal of Contemporary Art

'CON/TEXT + I.D./OLOGY' by Laurie Ann Farrell

Spring/Summer 2003, p100-101

CON/TEXT + I.D./OLOGY are a pair of exhibitions organized by Axis Gallery in New York for the 2002 Spring and Fall seasons....

Time Out, New York

Circumcised, Circumscribed by Barbara Pollock

March 20-27, 2003

...Instead of merely going for shock value, this show brings together a group of works. many of which have set off cultural controversies...

The New York Times

'Vessel' by Roberta Smith

Art Review, Friday December 13, 2002

Somehow there is nothing like a well made, respectfully used pot. The latest reminder is a handsome exhibition of ceremonial vessels made in the 19th and 20th centuries by the Zulu and other peoples of South Africa. Black or deep red, these large unglazed vessels...

The New York Times

'A Profusion of Painting, Very Much Alive.' By Roberta Smith

Art Review, Friday May 10, 2002

..The young South African artist Thabiso Phokompe makes more subtle, genuine use of African cultural roots. Now living in Brooklyn, Mr. Phokompe is showing earth-stained burlap pieces, part painting, part shield, part votive object, in his New York debut at the Axis Gallery..

The Villager

'Photo shows look differently at life amid violence.' By Dominique Herman

February 13, 2002

...Axis Gallery's exhibit spans the apartheid era in South Africa from the 1976 student uprising against the National party government for enforcing Afrikaans as a compulsory language in schools, to the democratic elections in 1994, loaded in between with violent images...

The New York Times

'Shooting Resistance: South African Photography 1976-1994.' By Holland Cotter

Art Review, Sunday February 17, 2002

... harrowing exhibition of photographs of the race wars in apartheid-era South Africa provides a crucial supplement to the watered-down representation of these events at P.S. 1," where MoMA is hosting the exhibition "The Short Century: Independence and Liberation...

The New York Times

'Dance in Light: Xhosa Textiles and Beadwork.' By Roberta Smith

Art Review, Friday January 18, 2002

...This stunning exhibition provides an in-depth, museum-quality look at the beadwork and textiles of the Xhosa-speaking peoples of...

The New York Times

'Berni Searle' by Roberta Smith

Art in Review, October 12, 2001

...The South African artist Berni Searle is on the move. Over the last three years she has appeared in biennials in Venice and Dakar and received several grants and prizes. Her New York debut showcases a steady artistic progress, while also indicating quite a bit of room...


‘The New look of Feminism.’ By Barbara Pollack

September, 2001. p 132

..."Colour Me" debuts in the artist's first New York show at Axis Gallery this month.) Searle, who continues to live and work in Cape Town, is acutely aware that audiences in Europe and the United States may find her image exotic. "Using my body is a tricky thing to do..

The New York Times

'Safari Through Troves Of African Wonders A legendary collector's legacy is lovingly presented at his museum In Brooklyn and Chelsea.' By Holland Cotter

Art in Review, June, 2001

...Supplementing the museum exhibition is "Zulu," a show of South African art, much of it from the 20th century, at the Axis Gallery on West 17th Street in Chelsea. Together, the two spaces challenge definitions of African art...

The New York Times

‘As Chelsea Gallery District Expands, a Host of Visions Rush’ by Roberta Smith

Art in Review, Friday June 1, 2001

...There are also some singularly focused new additions, like the Axis Gallery... Its concentration is on South African art, both traditional and contemporary, and photography, and the current exhibition of the various, often beaded arts of the Zulu is a visual knockout...


‘Zulu beads at the Axis Gallery’ by Joy Garnett

Review, Magazine-Into Africa 2001

...One of the most interesting spaces to open recently is the South African-run Axis Gallery, located on the top floor of a tiny walk-up at 453 West 17th Street in Chelsea. Its art-historian directors, Gary van Wyk and Lisa Brittan, have consistently offered up mini museum-like exhibitions that are exquisitely hung and historically informative...

The New York Times

'Jürgen Schadeberg, 'Drum Beat, South Africa', 1950-1994' by Holland Cotter

Art in Review, Friday April 13, 2001

...The Axis show focuses on work done by Mr. Schadeberg himself from 1951 to the early 1960's. At the time, South African popular culture was much influenced by the United States. In a 1954 picture, a jubilant Hugh Masekela at the beginning of his career cradles a trumpet sent to him as a gift from Louis Armstrong...

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Read this in-depth INTERVIEW by Rafael Soldi with the Director and Curator of Axis Gallery, Lisa Brittan and Gary van Wyk

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