Fair  January 13, 2022  Megan D Robinson

FOG Design+Art 2022: An Inside Look at the San Fran Fair’s Return

Courtesy FOG Design+Art.

Image from FOG Design+Art 2020.

After a year’s hiatus, the eighth annual FOG Design+Art Fair returns to San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center, January 20–23, 2022. Bringing together over forty major art and design dealers and galleries from all over the world, with an Innovator Banquet honoring award-winning musician Linda Ronstadt, and cutting-edge discussions on contemporary art, education, and design; the return of this popular fair promises to be unforgettable. In the following interview, FOG Steering Committee Members Douglas Durkin and  Stanlee Gatti talk about FOG’s evolution, how FOG met the challenges of the pandemic, and this year’s most exciting additions.

1. How has FOG evolved over the last eight years?

FOG has grown in stature and caliber each year, with a growing roster of international dealers, Durkin says, adding that they are happy FOG “truly represents the very best in modern and contemporary art and design. The fair has become a cornerstone of San Francisco art week, and every year the scope of and enthusiasm for art week and the fair itself grows.”

2. How has operating during the pandemic changed FOG? What protocols are being followed during the pandemic to keep people safe?

“The safety of our exhibitors, visitors, and staff is of the utmost importance, so we are taking extra precautions to help keep everyone safe,” Durkin explains. In accordance with San Francisco guidelines, proof of full vaccination is required for entry, and fairgoers must be masked. In addition, Preview Gala guests must test negative.

Courtesy the artist and Tina Kim Gallery, New York. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano.

Kibong Rhee (b. 1957), Misty Misty, 2020. Acrylic, plexiglass, and mixed media on canvas. 36.61 x 87.01 inches (93 x 221 cm). Signed by the artist on verso.

3. FOG has honored a wide range of Innovators over the years, from notable chefs to acclaimed architects and Instagram founders. Why was Linda Ronstadt chosen as this year’s Innovator?

“With the Innovators Luncheon, we always aim to honor someone who is a true pioneer in their field,” Stanlee Gatti explains. “Linda Ronstadt, one of the world’s greatest singing voices, has compiled a truly amazing discography. No longer able to perform due to Parkinson’s, she is still very present in our world, and remains active in a variety of other ways. The time is right to honor this living legend.”

4. Why do you think FOG is important right now; what social, educational, and artistic needs does FOG meet that have been lacking during lockdown? (What can we gain from in-person interaction we couldn’t get through Zoom?)

“It’s safe to say that we are all very tired of Zoom, and eager to gather together again in person,” Gatti says. “Seeing art and design on a screen is a far cry from experiencing it in person. Visitors will be delighted to see works of art and design in real life, and to have the opportunity to talk with other people, in person, in real-time about what they are seeing.” Getti thinks people will also be thrilled with FOG’s dynamic lineup of programs, as participating in live discussions creates a more authentic experience.

© The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at ARS, NY  Photo: Christopher Burke

Louise Bourgeois, Femme, 2005. Bronze, silver nitrate patina. 5 1/2 x 17 x 8 in. (14 x 43.2 x 20.3 cm).

5. FOG Theater at Fort Mason Center will host conversations between leaders in art, design, and technology discussing important current issues. What can you tell us about the discussions?

According to Gatti, Susan Swig, and Sarah Wendell “did a truly tremendous job” organizing exciting programming, which includes a special performance and presentation by artist Martine Gutierrez; the storied history of Bay Area printing presses: Arion Press and Magnolia Editions; and a conversation about the history of Bay Area murals, focusing on Diego Rivera’s historic murals and talented contemporary muralists.

6. What artists, galleries, and designers are you particularly excited about this year?

Gatti feels lucky to have ten new galleries participating this year, offering “a fresh perspective on art and design.”

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

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

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