Skip to content
About A4
Event photograph from the opening of the Customs exhibition in A4’s Gallery that shows Yoko Ono’s installation ‘MEND PIECE, A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town version’ in A4’s ground-floor Reading Room. A close-up view shows participants constructing sculptural forms using ceramic fragments, twine, tape and scissors on a white table.
Opening: Customs curated by Sumayya Vally and Josh Ginsburg, July 2, 2022. Image courtesy of A4 Arts Foundation.

A4 was established as a laboratory for the arts in 2017. The organisation supports arts practitioners and provides an interface for the public to interact with the process of artistic and curatorial production.

Our studio in Cape Town offers a public library, modular rooms for sharing and showing art, a residency programme, a book store, and offices for our team of arts workers.

A4’s team of producers, writers, archivists, and curators offer crucial support and critical friendship that is shared both ways; from artists to A4, from A4 to artists.

Through these engagements, A4 hopes to afford a repose from the pressures associated with production and consumption. Practitioners are invited to release into free exploration and serious play. We begin with this principle: something will happen, devoting our attention to how making happens.

We work in the arts, with artists and arts workers because we believe they’re best positioned to world-build and innovate toward societies that are socially and environmentally just.

A still frame from the video recording of a roundtable discussion that accompanied the ‘Tell It to the Mountains’ exhibition in A4’s gallery. A top-down view of a table that is strewn with postcard-size reproductions of photographs by Lindokuhle Sobekwa and Mikhael Subotzky, with participants seated around it.

A4 invites experimentation with artistic processes and their application in differing fields of learning and innovation.


Roundtable: Harvest Live for Tell It to the Mountains, December 10, 2020. Image courtesy of A4 Arts Foundation.

Process photograph from the making of Daniel Zimbler's documentary on David Goldblatt that shows a hand holding a photographic contact sheet.

A4 shares physical and digital resources of exceptional artistic practices across media of expression.


Process: A contact sheet in David Goldblatt’s study, Johannesburg. Still from the documentary film on the life and work of David Goldblatt, directed by Daniel Zimbler, July 29, 2018.

Event photograph from the ‘Integration Syndicate’ exchange hosted on A4’s top floor shows attendees seated at desks arranged in a semi-circular shape around the presenter’s desk.

A4 mediates between specialised and curious audiences.


Event: Integration Syndicate, April 1, 2017–December 1, 2017. Image courtesy of Andy Mkosi.


A4 explores the reception, application, approach and advancement of the arts in the public realm.


Opening: More for Less curated by Josh Ginsburg, February 9, 2018. Image courtesy of A4 Arts Foundation.

A4 is founded and funded directly by Wendy Fisher as part of her cultural philanthropic efforts.

The team in Cape Town function with operational authority, designing the programme and allocating the project’s resources.

As a private foundation with one patron, A4 is self-sufficient: a philanthropic arts foundation independent from the policies, values, principles, and needs of any government or state infrastructure.

A4 is a resource that is free to public. There is never an entry fee to use our library, visit our exhibitions, attend a workshop and be part of our events.

A4 was established as an NPC in 2015 and opened our free-to-public studio in Buitenkant Street in 2017.

Laboratory for the arts
Experiment with arts practitioners, with the application of arts-based thinking in disciplines beyond the arts and with the role, strategies, and relevance of the organisation itself.
Our team of curators, editors, writers, technicians, archivists and producers located at our studio in Cape Town support the realisation of projects by invited artists and practitioners.
Solve for form
Underpinning the studio’s practice is the search for appropriate forms to host artistic or curatorial projects.
Critical friends
Our studio team, together with a network of colleagues who may have specific research experience, assist to support and challenge projects and processes at A4. Critical friendship works both ways – from practitioners to A4, from A4 to practitioners.
Process: francis burger’s desk, developing More for Less curated by Josh Ginsburg, February 9, 2018–May 27, 2018. Image courtesy of A4 Arts Foundation.
Process photograph from the More For Less exhibition in A4’s Gallery that shows a printed excerpt from James Carse’s essay on games, encircled for emphasis.
Process: More for Less curated by Josh Ginsburg, February 9, 2018–May 27, 2018. Image courtesy of A4 Arts Foundation.