Thursday was my birthday and the perfect opportunity for visual clarity at the FOG Design+Art Fair in San Francisco. With winter storms engulfing the area, art provided a clear respite at Fort Mason. Forty-five galleries featured diverse artworks from installations to good old-fashioned oil paintings. The extravaganza showcased new trends along with investment classics.
From FOG Design+Art Fair’s website: “…FOG has become a focal point for the design and arts communities on the West Coast and further afield…FOG represents a key moment in which the local and global community congregate to engage in critical dialogue, artistic exchanges and a shared passion for creative pursuits.”
The extension of line made its mark throughout the venue. Nicole Wermers (Jessica Silverman Gallery) inflates common subject matter with scale in Model for Earring (Cambridge). Jim Hodges (Anthony Meier Fine Arts) stretches thought through a chain-link web in Only Once. Similarly, artist Gego (Lévy Gorvy Gallery) combines geometry and aesthetics extending line beyond borders.
Mindfulness within a designated composition is possible. Through color, Paul Lee’s (Modern Art) work is a narrative on the human experience. The compositions of Lygia Clark (Luhring Augustine) extend the conversation between the artist and viewer. While Frida Fjellman (Hostler Burrows) creates a welcoming environment of cascading lights.
Balance holds together the natural and manmade world. Oscar Tuazon (Luhring Augustine) skews function within reality redefining sculpture. Roni Horn (Hauser & Wirth) alters identity by twisting the subject backwards. Voyeuristically, Diana Thater (David Zwirner) captures the movement of the wind and light in Untitled (Eddie). From Art21: “Diana Thater was born in San Francisco in 1962. She makes video installations that poetically grapple with threats to the natural world, from the extinction of species to long-lasting environmental disasters such as the nuclear fallout of Chernobyl.”
Art continues to demand free expression. Fred Tomaselli (James Cohan Gallery) connects the treasonous dots between world leaders. In a gold patterned universe, Ai Weiwei (Haines Gallery) spins the wheels of consumerism and society. In addition, Sam Durant (Blum & Poe) directly questions and confronts the viewer with This is Freedom?.
The day concluded with a discussion featuring Joan Jonas (artist), David Gruber (Presidential Professor of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New York), Markus Reymann (Director of TBA21-Academy), and Chrissie Iles (Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art). Joan Jonas stressed the importance of research in an art practice. The goal is to “avoid sadness in the work” through awareness to challenging topics such as climate change.
Line, composition, balance, and purpose dominated FOG Design+Art Fair. Joan Jonas: “I’m just very interested in life, I’m curious about many things. And when I finish one piece, I’m challenged to do the next one to explore and experiment, and to go into the unknown continually. I mean one never know what a work is going to be at the start, I find the images as I work.”