Axis Gallery was founded in 1997 as the only US gallery promoting both “traditional” and contemporary art from Southern Africa. Both programs soon broadened to cover more of Africa, better fulfilling what the name Axis was chosen to evoke: the intersection of the cultures of Africa and the West. During its first ten years, in Chelsea, Axis Gallery staged several groundbreaking, critically acclaimed exhibitions, and gave several South African artists their first exposure in New York.
Today, Axis Gallery has adopted a roaming model, showing contemporary art by artists of African descent in numerous venues. Our project-oriented program includes artist residencies, international cultural collaborations, and training opportunities.
Antique African art is shown by appointment only at its New Jersey location, with emphasis on museum-quality pieces from the neglected traditions of southern and eastern Africa, and a specialization in Berber rugs from Morocco.
Axis Gallery’s director, Lisa Brittan, and 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 filmmaker and Gary van Wyk, Ph.D., is a scholar of African art and an editor. They have served as guest curators, exhibition consultants, and collection appraisers, and have contributed to the collections of leading museums in the United States and internationally.