Preview: FOG Design + Art 2022
TDE's top picks from San Francisco’s boutique art and collectible design fair.
Fort Mason Center, San Franscisco
19th January – 23rd January 2022
OVER THE PAST eight years, the FOG Design + Art fair has emerged as a formidable addition to the ever-expanding annual fair cycle. Opening again after repeated cancellations, this year’s event will include some of the industry’s leading players and an impressive flock of lesser-known local galleries that pass muster.
Complementing other international events like Design Miami, PAD, Salon Art + Design, Collectible, and TEFAF, the fair celebrates San Francisco’s unique position within the art and collectible design sectors.
The city has a rich creative history rooted, in part, in the counterculture movements of the 1960s, as well as the technology industry. Honouring this legacy, FOG serves as an anchor for the West Coast’s growing buyer base.
“Over the past decade, the art market has expanded beyond the major cities people think of as its main hubs,” explains steering committee member Susan Swig. “San Francisco has always had a strong collector culture and vibrant art scene. The quality of life here has always attracted an energetic, thoughtful, discerning group of people, and we are fortunate how many of them have become great supporters of the arts. Each year dealers express their excitement about coming to this city and FOG.”
Held at the historic Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, this year’s edition – taking place from 20th to 23rd January – will feature a select 45 galleries. Among the list of exhibitors are widely recognised platforms David Gill Gallery, Hostler Burrows, and R & Company. Local galleries like Jessica Silverman and Anthony Meier Fine Arts are returning this year. Newcomers include Alexander Berggruen, CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, Friends Indeed, pt.2: Gallery, and Rebecca Camacho Presents.
Pairing art and design galleries and those that increasingly blur the boundaries between the two markets, the event will feature works by some of the most prominent 20th and 21st century talents. The diverse selection will incorporate pieces by several young and established talents that reinterpret age-old metal and fibre craft traditions to emulate natural structures and challenge common perception. Here are a few of those highlights.
‘Untitled, 08’ by Liam Lee, Patrick Parrish Gallery
As one of Patrick Parrish’s latest discoveries, fibre artist Liam Lee has made waves on the collectible design scene over the past year. His entirely amorphous felted furnishings take on a life of their own. The brightly-hued coral-like forms derive from the New York-based talent’s interest in blurring the boundaries between our indoor and outdoor environment; what we have come to see as our polished interiors and what we view as untamed nature. Produced using a bespoke textile dyeing and felting process, Lee’s sculptural furniture call to mind microbes and fungi. The chairs, stools and other accessories are spontaneously crafted like drawings, and yet reveal the talent’s mastery of shape and proportion.
‘Bench’ by Koak, Altman Siegel
Aligned with the rapidly emerging expressive cast bronze trend, Koak’s 2020 ‘Bench’ takes on a slightly figurative quality. Propping up a walnut slab, two sinuous loops close where two right hands meet. The Michigan-based artist is known for creating highly articulate portraits of female figures that subvert the graphic quality of various cartoon drawing styles. This foray into furniture reflects a similar emotional quality and is intended to evoke the phenomenon and consequence of human touch, if not also the notions of consensus and mutual agreement. The masterfully-crafted piece is charged with sensorial memory, communicated in the timeless quality of its material makeup.
‘Shrouded IV’ by Adi Toch, Sarah Myerscough Gallery
Renowned British metal artist Adi Toch dedicates much of her practice to exploring the metaphysical qualities of vessels. For her, these archetypal forms serve as a form of communication and challenge the perception of interior and exterior space. The patinated brass ‘Shrouded IV’ piece plays on that complexity. Its smooth concave and convex surfaces appear to be imploding on each other as if emblematic of a black hole. At its core, the work reflects an ongoing exploration of time, place and nature’s mark-making. The colours and textures that resulted from the vessel being submerged in the earth for five months are indicative of the specific locale. The piece serves as its record.
‘Bent Half Tube Chair’ by Voukenas Petrides, Gallery FUMI
New York and Athens-based design duo Voukenas Petrides has fashioned its practice around developing timeless designs that challenge architectonic precepts. The studio creates stools, side tables, chairs and installations with a strong emphasis on materiality, an understanding of space and appreciation for light. As evident in the ‘Bent Half Tube Chair’, the duo often experiments with physics – how to achieve balance, defy gravity and cantilever disparate elements in striking compositions. Produced in bronze, the work takes on an almost archaic quality. The formal flex of cast indentation between the seat and seat back suggests that the seemingly malleable and organic metal form was contorted to accommodate that very function.
‘Let Loose’ by Sheila Hicks, Demisch Danant
Throughout her long and illustrious career, American master Sheila Hicks has continuously tested the limits of conventional weaving and textile arts. She experiments with the combination of disparate materials in various three and two-dimensional painterly compositions. Created using a slew of linen, cotton and synthetic fibre components, the constellation-esque ‘Let Loose’ wall hanging series blends unexpected colour pairings in ostensibly porous wrappings. As suggested in the title of the collection, the complex detail of each strand is left bare. These layered loop mounds reveal Hicks undeterred experimental nature, self-expression and unique comprehension of material, one she has fostered for close to 80 years.
For more information about Liam Lee’s work please visit the Patrick Parrish Gallery viewing room.
‘Bench’ by Koak, $50,000
‘Shrouded IV’ by Aki Toch, £1,650 + VAT.
‘Bent Half Tube Chair’ by Voukenas Petrides, POA.
‘Let Loose’ by Shiela Hicks, POA.