From outside the entrance doors, the light panels on the wall radiated a bright, happy patchwork quilt. The entrance to San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center was covered in digital screens that revealed personal histories within its squares: Indira Allegra’s interactive work TEXERE displayed the stories that passersby shared with the artist through a QR-code-linked app.The overlaid words and images were woven together as the artist’s “healing wish for the city, [as] a space for people to gather together in community, and an invitation to find joy in giving yourself the opportunity to reflect.”
Conceptualized as a love letter to the city, TEXERE is a deeply personal, very human point of AI entry for visitors to the tenth annual edition of FOG, the city’s art and design fair, where galleries including international names such as Mendes Wood DM, Marian Goodman, Hauser & Wirth, and Lehmann Maupin and local galleries Berggruen, Crown Point Press, Jessica Silverman, and Micki Meng, as well as Johansson Projects and pt.2 Gallery (both from across the Bay, in Oakland) share space with design galleries such as Demisch Danant, FUMI, and R. & Company and local organizations, including BOG (Books or Goods) and Creative Growth/Creativity Explored/NIAD.
A visit to FOG can (and should) be capped by a visit to Lucy Sparrow’s Feltz Bagels, a life-size bagel store installation where every detail—including every sweet-eyed and smiling sandwich option on display, bagel topping in the buffet, and bottle of Snapple, bag of Doritos, and jar of Welch’s concord grape jelly on the shelves was a plump, silly, deliciously inedible overstuffed felted toy, an apt complement to the trays of (real) martinis getting passed around.
A few steps away from the delirious bagel shop experience, Rosha Yaghmai’s luminous, softly florescent paintings on layers of draped organza hang at Commonwealth & Council’s booth, offering something of a landing pad in a dimension even further away. Her “Afterimage” works are intimate abstractions of details and landscapes in Persian miniatures. “It’s our first time participating in FOG,” shared Kibum Kim of the Los Angeles gallery. “The Bay area has a great, tight-knit art community that we’re getting to know. Everyone from curators to patrons to advisors has been very welcoming and kind.”
While older charcoal drawings of quietly emptied streets by Robert Bechtle and sunny, sentimental abstractions by Etel Adnan were on view at Anthony Meier, Rebecca Camacho Presents had a suite of Surrealist paintings by Ever Baldwin, each surrounded by a sculptural, heavy, carved wooden frame in dark wood, extending the lines and arcs on the canvas out into the third dimension. Nearby, Salon 94 Design had artist Duyi Han’s Ordinance of the Subconscious Treatment turn the booth into an intimate palace with an architecture of pleated ice-blue silks. Using traditional Chinese motifs from Buddhist temples, the symbols recall both religious icons as well as chemical symbols associated with mental health. His pairs of “Vitamin B-12 Omega 3 Chairs” form a parlor arrangement with a ruffled chaise and the rounded drawers of the bulbous corner-anchoring “Oxytocin Cabinet,” a celestial drawing room for one’s innermost thoughts, a sanctuary for drawing inward, away from the swelling art-fair crowds swirling around.