Southern Africa´s most famous commercial art gallery was established in the young mining town of Johannesburg in 1912. Over the years the gallery has grown in size and sophistication with the emergence of Johannesburg as Africa´s business and financial capital.
In 1980 the gallery moved from its elegant downtown location to a purpose-built building in the prestigious precinct of Rosebank. The building, an outstanding example of post-modern architecture, has become a much admired landmark. Surrounding a charming 1920´s house, which is the gallery´s administrative centre, is a curvaceous structure comprising sculpture courtyards and four exhibition areas of various proportions with clerestory windows that ensure abundant daylight. The sculpture courtyards and indigenous gardens draw the outdoors in, creating a beautifully inviting space for visitors from all walks of life. The gallery reflects the same cosmopolitan and energetic qualities that this fantastic city has to offer.
Everard Read has become synonymous with the finest art emanating from Southern Africa. Many of this region´s most celebrated painters and sculptors, both traditional artists of the past and emerging talent, exhibit with Everard Read which is also the agent for fine artists from elsewhere in the world.
CIRCA on Jellicoe
Everard Read has grown considerably and successfully under the care of the Read family. Mark has now seen an opportunity to create a vibrant gallery of a different nature; one that is inspired by living in Johannesburg, a gallery that beats to the pulse of this captivating city and that can nurture the various forms of artistic expression that flourish here. More than an exciting new art gallery, it will host a variety of fascinating events. As Mark himself says “One could say it’s neither here nor there, but rather a place that is ‘free to travel in space and time’, not hindered by any preconceived template”. From sculpture to a variety of cultural exhibitions and the architecture of the striking building, Circa shows off the best that South Africa has to offer and challenges us to rethink what we define as “art” in its cultural breadth.
Circa, although relatively small in size, is lofty and ambitious in its intentions. The studioMAS designed structure was carefully constructed to create an urban environment that is confident about the importance of public space in our city, the importance of architecture to support public space and the need for people to be able to socialise and gather in places in which they feel comfortable, safe and inspired. The gallery is born out of a love for Johannesburg. While its business is the art gallery within, its conspicuous form and design are intended to generate interest among passers-by, encouraging them to discover the myriad forms of art inside. Its sculptural architecture is a celebration of art, architecture and living in Johannesburg, as well as to functionally house an environment where a love of art in all its forms can be explored by the public.