The return of the FOG Design and Art fair to San Francisco’s Fort Mason Pier – after going on hiatus last year amid the pandemic – has drawn a throng of shoppers.
Local galleries and those that visited the United States (as well as a few international names) reported healthy sales and strong exposure from important private and institutional collections.
The ICA Miami quickly acquired two works, including a canvas by Jiab Prachakul, titled 5 a.m. at Jean Macé (2021), from the Friends Indeed gallery.
“This is a very personal work drawn from the memory of the artist, and it resonated with me, our curators and donors,” said ICA Miami Director Alex Gartenfeld, who visited the remote fair this year.
The museum also purchased works by Hulda Guzman from the stand of first exhibitor Alex Berggruen. “Guzman is an artist I have followed closely who is looking to add a strong example of her work to the ICA Miami collection. The opportunity presented itself with the opening of the FOG show,” Gartenfeld said. .
“It’s wonderful to see museum curators and leaders from across the country, especially given the growing conversation around what new models of museums will look like in the years to come,” said the co-chair of the fair, Wayee Chu. But she lamented the absence of groups of students who usually visit their schools. “I hope that after the pandemic, this type of participation will continue,” she said.
Despite city safety mandates – wearing a mask, proof of vaccination and testing negative – the opening gala was “very strong”, said Micki Meng, founder of the Friends Indeed gallery. “Many of San Francisco’s top art patrons and collectors were here.”
Altman Siegel Gallery has had two major sales of sculptures by artist Koak: a large-scale bronze of three cats and a bench with bronze hands touching at the base. Koak also had three small paintings in the booth which all “sold out immediately”, gallery director Claudia Altman Siegel told Artnet News.
Koak, Bench (2020). Photo by Phil Bond. Courtesy of the artist and Altman Siegel, San Francisco
Of the 45 exhibitors at the fair (down a notch from 2020’s 48 exhibitors), 10, or more than 20%, were first-time exhibitors, including Friends Indeed, as well as Alexander Berggruen, Cult Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, Michael Rosenfeld, Nina Johnson, Pt. 2 Gallery, Rebecca Camacho presents, Ryan Lee, Talwar Gallery and White cubes.
The reports of many of them were equally robust. Pt. 2 Gallery, of Oakland, brought in nearly $125,000 in preliminary sales, including works by Soumaya Netrabile, Muzae, Liz Hernandez and Kelly Ordings.
Tina Kim Gallery, participating in FOG for the second time, reported sales of works by Ha Chong-Hyun, Park Seo-bo, Kim Tschang Yeul, and Kibong Rhee, each in a price range of $100,000 to $300,000. Another work, by contemporary artist Suki Seokyeong Kang, sold for $30,000.
“The fair gives us a platform to strengthen our relationships with West Coast institutions and share the depth of our roster with collectors,” Kim said.
“The return of FOG is a very promising moment that reminds us of how art builds and sustains community,” said San Francisco gallerist Jessica Silverman.
Silverman’s notable sales so far have included the two-panel painting by Clare Rojas I’m just looking (2021), priced at $130,000; Samuel’s Falls From spring to autumn (2021), priced at $70,000; and numerous glazed ceramic works by Pae White, priced between $26,000 and $36,000. Silverman described “major institutional interest” in the works in his booth, including a ceramic sculpture by Woody De Othello that has been vetted for the FOG Forum Fund for SFMOMA.
“We are thrilled to be back at FOG and are very grateful that the show organizers have created a safe environment for everyone to feel comfortable in light of the ongoing pandemic,” said Jessie Washburne-Harris. , vice president of Pace Gallery, adding that there was “an extremely high level of engagement and knowledge” in the San Francisco collecting community.
Initial gallery sales included two works by Sam Gilliam, a 1971 painting for $750,000 and a 2021 work on paper for $180,000; three editions of a 2021 sculpture by Lynda Benglis, each priced at $175,000; three editions of a 2021 digital installation by Leo Villareal, each for $150,000. (San Franciscans can also currently see the west span of the Bay Bridge illuminated by Villareal’s bay lights light sculptures).
Pace also sold: the painting by Torkwase Dyson I am all that will save me for $100,000; two ceramic and steel sculptures by Arlene Shechet from her “Together” series, each for $55,000; two editions of a 2021 photograph by Richard Learoyd, for $50,000 each; and a 2021 sculpture by Yoshitomo Nara.
“We are thrilled to kick off the new art season in San Francisco at FOG,” Hauser and Wirth President Marc Payot said after the gallery sold 20 works on opening day. Works by a cross-section of artists in the gallery and the estates it manages have been placed in some of Northern California’s “most rigorous and esteemed private collections,” he said.
Among the gallery’s major sales: the painting by Frank Bowling Landing (2011), which sold for $500,000; by Rita Ackerman Mom on Desolation Row (2021), for $550,000; George Condo’s Fractured female profile (2021), for $650,000; Oil on linen by Luchita Hurtados THE WATER (circa 1973), for $350,000; by Lorna Simpson Rope Chain (2021), for $350,000; and Cindy Sherman untitled movie (1980), for $150,000.
At the slightly lower end, Hauser and Wirth also sold eight works on paper by Charles Gaines for $60,000 each, and two paintings by Henry Taylor for $75,000 and $95,000 respectively.
Enthusiasm has also spread to the city’s artistic venues. ICA San Francisco extended its hours this weekend to include Sunday as it received over 700 RSVPs for Chris Martin’s project “Ancient As Time.” And since its opening in November, Lands End by FOR-SITE Foundation, has welcomed more than 10,000 visitors.
“It was amazing to see the Bay Area come together and show their unwavering support for our institutions and our artists,” said Ali Gass, Director of ICA San Francisco. “This community’s deep commitment to the arts is unquestionable and their support for the opening of ICA this fall has been overwhelming.”
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