Axis Gallery was founded in 1997 as the only US gallery promoting both "traditional" and contemporary art from Southern Africa. During the last decade, however, both programs have broadened beyond this regional focus. Axis Gallery now covers all of Africa, better fulfilling what the name Axis was chosen to evoke: the intersection of two great cultural axes, Africa and the West.
Axis Gallery's director, Lisa Brittan, and the curator, Gary van Wyk trained both as artists and art historians in South Africa during the 1980s, and were active in the anti-apartheid Resistance Art Movement. In addition, Lisa Brittan is a documentary film maker, and Gary van Wyk, who completed his Ph.D. in African Art History and Theory at Columbia University, has written and edited numerous books and articles on African culture and art.
They have served as consultants and appraisers to leading institutions and collectors, and Axis Gallery has placed art in the collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum for African Art in New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the national galleries of France and South Africa, among others.
As the New York Times critic Holland Cotter observed, Axis Gallery made New York history by inserting African art into the Chelsea art scene, staging numerous critically acclaimed exhibitions and giving many artists their first public showings in New York.
The online store contains books, videos, and CDs related to the gallery's mission.
Contact us to learn more about our collection and the artists we represent.