The seventh edition of FOG Design+Art at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco closed on Sunday, with nearly 15,000 visitors to the fair, the largest number of visitors to date. The fair opened Wednesday evening with a sold-out Preview Gala benefitting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and continued through the weekend.
This year’s fair featured 48 leading international design and visual art galleries, including six galleries participating for the first time. In addition to the works of art and design on view, visitors were invited to attend a series of thought-provoking talks with creative thinkers, innovators, and luminaries in the fields of art and design. Highlights included conversations with artists Rashaad Newsome, Simon Denny, and Rodney McMillian; talks that looked at the intersection of art and technology, including a discussion between Tina Vaz, head, Artist in Residence and Analog Research Lab at Facebook, and Elena Soboleva, Director of Online Sales at David Zwirner; and a look at community building through architecture with architects Tatiana Bilbao and Marshall Brown led by SFMOMA Architecture + Design curators Joseph Becker and Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher.
Collectors and visitors expressed enthusiasm for the diversity of work on view, and for the high caliber of exhibitors included in the 2020 edition of the fair. Dealers applauded the fair, reporting strong sales, engaged visitors and collectors, and a fair that was well attended throughout the entirety of its run.
Dealers praised FOG Design+Art, noting:
Paula Cooper Gallery reported a full, high energy opening Gala at FOG, where they sold works from Cecily Brown, Tauba Auerbach, Christian Marclay, and Carl Andre, all to local collectors, with several others placed on hold. The gallery reported many familiar faces as well as several new contacts among the buyers.
Graham Steele, Partner, Hauser & Wirth, reported that the gallery had a fantastic start at FOG. “We are delighted to have placed several works in prominent West Coast collections at the opening gala. A wonderful ceiling projection by Mika Rottenberg, who joined our program last year, now has a new home. The fair is a chance to connect with our network of collectors and institutions on the West Coast. We are enjoying the energy and atmosphere this year and seeing strong interest reflected in the early placements during the gala, including works by Mark Bradford, Paul McCarthy, Ed Clark, Jenny Holzer, Rashid Johnson, Larry Bell, and Rita Ackermann.”
Sprüth Magers noted that they sold Richard Artschwager’s Table/Table, 2008 to a private European collection, as well as a pair of Richard Artschwager’s Untitled (Quotation Marks), 2008, to a private West Coast collection.
“We sold a lot of primary market artists, including Richard Aldrich, Robert Bechtle, Anne Collier, Wangechi Mutu, Elizabeth Peyton, R. H. Quaytman, Salvo, Andro Wekua, and Anicka Yi. We are grateful for the support of the strong collector community here in San Francisco. We look forward to coming back next year.” – Gladstone Gallery
“We are pleased to share that during the opening days of FOG, we sold works by Lucas Arruda, Ruth Asawa, Carol Bove, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Donald Judd, Toba Khedoori, Yayoi Kusama, Alice Neel, Al Taylor, and Wolfgang Tillmans. This has been our most successful FOG experience to date, and we look forward to returning next year.” – David Zwirner Gallery
“There is likely no other fair quite like FOG. The alignment of a wide-ranging, high level, ever-changing, and expanding circle of collectors, dealers, curators, curiosity seekers, artists and more and the especially welcoming environment of FOG makes it a fair that people return to day after day and are rewarded. While there is always a focus on the market and what sold, what is particularly notable about FOG is the rich and thoughtful programming that brings people in day after day, an environment that is comfortable, convivial, and speaks to and engenders the community that the Art World aspires to be.” – Frish Brandt, President, Fraenkel Gallery
“We are delighted that we sold out of two artists’ work in our dedicated four artist presentation, which included the sale of three LED works by Leo Villareal at $48,000 each to a collection in Silicon Valley. Since we opened our Palo Alto gallery over five years ago, FOG has always been a wonderful opportunity to connect with our friends on the west coast, and through the fair this year were able to engage a whole new range of collectors with our space out here and the Picasso show currently on view.” – Marc Glimcher, President and CEO of Pace.
Lévy Gorvy organized a focused, survey solo booth of Terry Adkins’s work at FOG Design+Art — his first solo presentation in San Francisco. The gallery reported that “several works sold, including an exceptional large work GST Records (c. 2007) and a unique triptych Untitled Disk (2001). Several important, historical works including The Portent (1998) and Marshall Lounge (2000), are on reserve,” said Lévy Gorvy Senior Partner Emilio Steinberger.
"We were thrilled to participate in FOG for the first time and to introduce new collectors to an array of our artists, including McArthur Binion, Lee Bul, Teresita Fernández, Nicholas Hlobo, Helen Pashgian, and Nari Ward. In particular, FOG provided us with an important platform to introduce an artist like Nari Ward. While he is established and most recently had a major mid-career survey at the New Museum in New York, he has had little exposure in San Francisco to-date. His large-scale work, Flying Geese (2019), comprising oak wood, copper sheet, copper nails, and darkening patina was a true highlight of our booth. There are now many prominent collectors and institutions in San Francisco who are interested in his work.” – Jessica Kreps, Partner, Lehmann Maupin
“We very much enjoy the programs, which expand beyond the art market conversation. It was a full house for the ArtBites talk with Lauren Taschen, Julia Watson, and artist Oscar Tuazon. We didn't talk about art, we talked about the expansion of what you can do with art. That was a highlight of the fair.” – Galerie Chantal Crousel
Mercado Moderno reported having a successful first fair at FOG, and noted that they sold a piece within two minutes of the opening. The work was by Forma, a wood manufacturing company from Brazil. The gallery also noted that visitors were very interested in the works they presented by Brazilian contemporary textile designer Inês Schertel. Schertel creates all pieces by hand, from end to end — from raising and tending the sheep to dying the wool, and creating the works which are all limited to the size of her wingspan. FOG visitors were curious to learn more about her process and work.
“It's our third time doing the fair and we've had a really great response every time from the local collector community and the museum community. It is a really gratifying thing for us to be here this year and to go up to Sonoma and see three major works by Lygia Clark that we presented last year as part of our presentation of Clark and Oscar Tuazon. It's very gratifying for us as the representative of the estate and as dealers to be here one year later and to have the chance to see those works that have been added to their collection. We have wonderful clients here — longtime clients here — and we really appreciate the opportunity to connect with this very sophisticated and very generous group of collectors in San Francisco every year, because it’s such a thoughtful audience.” – Luhring Augustine
“We have been participating in the FOG fair for many years now and have seen how the fair has gained traction. It was a great success this year, we were able to connect with our clients from the San Francisco area well as meet a range of new people. We made sales in both historical and contemporary design and saw a lot of interest in our booth.” – Zesty Meyers, co-founder of R & Company
"The positive response that we've received at FOG to the works of Monir Farmanfarmaian and David Simpson has resulted in strong sales, creating opportunities to reconnect with longtime clients and build relationships with new collectors." – Cheryl Haines, Haines Gallery
“It was a good year,” said Reform / The Landing Gallery owner Gerard O'Brien. “We've done the fair since its inception and the precursor fair as well. For a gallery of my size and program it's exciting to be neighbors with Hauser & Wirth and Matthew Marks. The involvement of the museum makes this really special and we're happy to have something being considered for SFMOMA’s permanent collection. It was also great to be able to show Brenda Goodman here, a New York artist that has not been shown much in California.” The gallery noted that it sold works by Brenda Goodman, Otto & Gertrude Natzler, Glen Lukens, and several Alma Allen stools.
“Attendance was great and there were so many truly educated people asking great questions. They were looking very seriously at all of the work, which we found very exciting.” – Crown Point Press
“The opening celebration of FOG was a beautiful event and very well attended as usual. This is an extraordinary fair in the quality of exhibitors, the selection of artwork and the audience. We made slightly more than ‘a handful of sales’ to collectors with whom we have worked with for many years as well as to new enthusiasts,” said John Berggruen, Berggruen Gallery.
“It’s been a magical experience because John Dickinson is from here and we got to know a lot of his friends and colleagues over the years. Word got out that we had this installation on view and they came in to pay homage to him.” – Converso Gallery