Fair  January 9, 2020  Megan D Robinson

FOG 2020: Shaping Design Tastes for a New Decade

JKA Photography, courtesy of FOG Design+Art

Haines Gallery at FOG Design+Art

Unique in the art fair world, San Francisco’s FOG Design+Art January art fair offers an unprecedented opportunity to experience cutting edge modern art and design from all over the world. The fair features almost fifty leading international galleries, including six first time participants, a number of San Francisco-based galleries, and notable 20th-century and contemporary design dealers.

An intriguing roster of speakers will also cover topics such as building community through architecture; gender, race, and identity in art; and the interplay of art, food, and design; as well as a new iteration of 21POP, FOG co-founder Stanlee Gatti’s popular installation. Attendees enjoy a panoramic view of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay, while exploring a rich and varied selection of art and design.

© Lee Friedlander, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, and Luhring Augustine, New York

Lee Friedlander, Galax, Virginia, 1962 (printed 1960s). Gelatin silver print signed, titled & dated verso in pencil, stamped verso in ink. Available through Fraenkel Gallery.

“FOG is a very special jewel in the crown of art fairs,” says Frish Brandt, President of Fraenkel Gallery. A major San Francisco art gallery and longtime FOG participant, Fraenkel Gallery has spent the last forty years promoting photographic pioneers and other exceptional artists, exploring photography's role in the evolution of art and building diverse artistic communities.

Brandt explains what makes FOG so special: the care taken curating galleries and the care galleries take, in turn, choosing selections, “is evidenced each and every day at the fair. This is a fair where a wide range of visitors come not just once, not just twice, but often more than three times and each time they are rewarded with a consistently high level of offerings that change each day, keeping the experience fresh and thought-provoking. The scale of FOG allows visitors a refreshingly deep dive into a range of works from each of the well-chosen participants. SF FOG is more of a dance than an art fair because of the interpersonal scale matched by the high level of intention on everyone's parts—the organizers, the gallerists, the visitors.”

© Barry X Ball, courtesy of the artist and Fergus McCaffrey

Barry X Ball, Hand of the Artist, 2013-19. Translucent golden-pink onyx. Available through Fergus McCaffrey.

FOG committee member Douglas Durkin explains FOG’s careful selection process. “Every year we have to review an increasing number of fair applications. While trying to maintain a space in the fair for dealers who have participated before, both local, national, and international, the application process for booth content is what drives our decision making.” Representation is balanced between key local supports and new dealers.

© 2019 César / SBJ / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

César, Le Sein, 1966 (cast in 2019). Bronze. Available through Demisch Danant Luxembourg & Dayan.

“Truthfully, while we want to support our local dealers, we also want to bring outside perspectives to our event . . .   Our mission is quality, and given the international interest in the fair, competition for exhibitors space is very intense.”

Durkin is particularly excited about cutting edge design dealer Gallery FUMI of London, as well as a collaboration between Demisch Danant, a dealer in postwar French design, and Luxembourg & Dayan. “This is the first time in the fair’s history that two remarkable dealers from the world of Design and Art are collaborating on a space together.”

FOG Design+Art is on view January 16-19, at the Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, San Francisco.

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

Megan D Robinson writes for Art & Object and the Iowa Source.

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