A Feminine Edge

by Flora Tsapovsky

With the gifting frenzy and the Christmas decor-palooza behind us, the timing couldn’t be better for the classy, always enjoyable FOG Design + Art Fair, happening this month at the Fort Mason Center. The annual three-day event will bring together 45 art and design galleries from the U.S. and beyond, offering connoisseurs the opportunity to get up close and personal with artwork and thoughtful objects combining flair and function.


Alongside returning galleries like Anthony Meier Fine Arts, Berggruen Gallery, the Gagosian and the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, FOG will welcome some prominent first-timers. From Paris, Galerie Chastel Maréchal will present a selection of mirrors by Line Vautrin, as well as works by Serge Mouille, the man behind some of the most sophisticated light fixtures on the market. From New York, Luhring Augustine will showcase a selection of new works by Christopher Wool, the artist famous for his bold lettering prints. From London, Sadie Coles, the Mayfair contemporary hub, will bring its brand of tongue-in-cheek, bold art, and Stuart Shave/Modern Art will present works by interesting European artists like Eva Rothschild, Richard Tuttle and Martha Jungwirth, whose abstract work is both timeless and very of-the-moment.

From San Francisco, local mainstays will shine as well; Altman Siegel Gallery is exhibiting, among others, new photographs by Shannon Ebner. Jessica Silverman Gallery is exploring the relationship between artisanal and digital with the group exhibition On the Other Hand, which includes Margo Wolowiec, who prints images gleaned online on yarn and Woody De Othello’s telephone-shaped ceramic sculptures, aptly named Don’t Pick Up and Pick Up. At the Anthony Meier Fine Arts pavilion, Mark Hagen’s large-scale, iridescent “honeycomb” structures are a must-see. By comparison, Swiss artist Mai-Thu Perret’s works, from the Los Angeles-based David Kordansky Gallery, are miniature but pack a creative punch—her rattan and ceramic sculptures of animals, women and abstracts have been a hot collector’s commodity for a few years.

This year, given the prevalent discourse in the media and politics, the fair’s programming focus upon female artists and thought leaders is especially pleasing. This year’s Innovator’s Luncheon, which in the past highlighted Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom and architect Sir David Adjaye, among others, honors Bay Area superstar and world-renowned chef Alice Waters, whose new book, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook, has made the bestseller lists. During the fair, one of the opening events will shine a spotlight on women in the art world: Women Rising: Building Representation and Marketability For Female Artists, on January 11 at 3 p.m. It is a panel investigating “how art industry influencers can correct the pervasive gender imbalance in gallery representation of female artists,” according to organizers. The all-female panel, moderated by Jori Finkel, contributing writer to The New York Times and The Art Newspaper, will bring together Anne Ellegood, senior curator at the Hammer Museum; Wendi Norris, owner and founder of Gallery Wendi Norris; and Lucia Sanroman, director of visual arts at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Almost as socially poignant, and of interest to any design lover, is the Saturday screening of the documentary Eames: The Architect and the Painter, hosted by Christie’s and dedicated to Charles and Ray Eames, the husband and wife duo behind the world’s most famous chair. Entertaining and eye-opening, it’s a film where the two share the limelight. With a well-placed emphasis on women artists, an insightful cinematic look at an iconic couple, a number of inspiring group exhibitions and plenty of standout objects to discover, the FOG Design + Art Fair is the perfect foray into 2018, for collectors and collectors of experiences.

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