UNTITLED, ART San Francisco’s fourth edition welcomes new collectors in the Bay Area and features strong sales of historic artwork; Night Gallery wins inaugural eBay Booth Prize.
The fourth edition of UNTITLED, ART San Francisco closed on Sunday, after a week of welcoming collectors, museum directors and curators, art advisors, and a diverse audience to its most international edition to date. The fair continues its strong engagement with Bay Area museums and their members — including the Asian Art Museum, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the San José Museum of Art —while expanding its strategic partnerships with regional companies, including eBay, Facebook, and Withersworldwide.
San Francisco collector Nion McEvoy, founder of McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, remarked, “UNTITLED, ART was a candy box filled with great surprises. From the beautiful Sargent Johnson Dance Hall studies (1935) at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery and the charming vintage Ilse Bing in Edwynn Houk’s closet to Jeremy Couillard’s digital simulation at Denny DiminandMasako Miki’s giant red lips at Aimee Friberg’s CULT Exhibitions, the pier was filled with great art in every medium — including some superb design pieces, like the rustic but luminous dinnerware of sought-after ceramicist MMclay. UNTITLED, ART San Francisco is not to be missed.”
New York–based Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, whose booth featured a selection of artists exhibited in Soul of A Nation, currently on view at the de Young Museum, had multiple sales, mostly to new collectors, including a 1969 Frank Bowling painting, titled Dan to Beersheba, for $1.2 million as well as a painting by Bob Thompson in the realm of $1 million. According to Rosenfeld, “One can’t generalize about San Francisco. We worked with very engaged, very serious collectors who are not concerned about Trends or what others are doing.” First-time exhibitor LnS Gallery sold multiple works from their solo booth of the noted late Cuban-American artist Carlos Alfonzo, including a 1985 painting priced at $50,000. The Miami dealer placed the works with new collectors and remarked on how the gallery enjoyed the “pleasant and well-informed” public of San Francisco. Los Angeles–based Royale Projects received significant interest from what the gallery describes as a “new generation” of Bay Area collectors, including selling all of their six abstract works by Heather Day. The preview also featured the sale of twelve Sam Bornstein paintings from Charles Moffett to both local and visiting collectors.
Works by African contemporary artists, which had an exceptionally strong presence in UNTITLED, ART Miami Beach in 2019, were also evident on the West Coast: Berlin’s Lars Kristian Bode sold a large oil painting on an irregular sculpted canvas by Tahir Carl Karmali, along with two smaller “crushed glass” paintings by the artist. Berlin- and London-based Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery sold two paintings by Nengi Omuku, priced at $13,000 each, and three paintings by Gerald Chukwuma, priced between $10,000 and $12,000. San Francisco gallery Rebecca Camacho Presents sold more than half its solo booth of Ugandan-born, New York-based artist Leilah Babirye. The UNTITLED, ART booth coincided with a solo exhibition of Babirye at the gallery, presenting the same series of work.
Technology-based works were a highlight of this year’s edition of UNTITLED, Art San Francisco. Spanish gallery Max Estrella sold a 2019 Daniel Canogar generative work, titled “Yield,” that displays abstracted commodities prices rising and falling in real time for $37,000 to Los Angeles–based collectors. Denny Dimin sold nine works by Erin O’Keefe, whose photographs of sculptural still lifes resemble paintings, ranging from $5,000 to $11,000, and two works by Lau Wai, ranging from $1,900 to $3,000. (The Wai sales, to a local collector, occurred within ten minutes of the fair’s VIP opening.) Asya Geisberg Gallery, a longtime UNTITLED, ART exhibitor from New York, presented a booth of Matthew Craven, Melanie Daniel, and Jasper de Beijer, receiving interest in all three artists on view, notably the geometric collage-drawing blends by Craven, three of which were sold. The New York dealer commented, “Unlike some fairs with dead days, we are happy to report that we had consistent sales each day of the fair. Overall, a great city for us to be able to participate in another UNTITLED fair, with great organization and outside events as well.”
UNTITLED, ART San Francisco 2020 welcomed several new strategic partners to facilitate the expansion of its network across the Bay Area and engage new audiences. New partners included eBay and Facebook, classic car insurer Hagerty®, Bay Area online furniture retailer Inside Weather, international law firm Withersworldwide, private equity firm Paradyme Investments, local retailer Playmountain EAST, and local artisan brands, including Limnia and MMclay.
eBay sponsored the first booth prize presented at UNTITLED, ART San Francisco, which was awarded to Night Gallery for its solo booth of artist JPW3. The booth was selected by a jury of Bay Area museum directors and curators, S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director at the San José Museum of Art, and Abby Chen, Head of the Contemporary Art Department at the Asian Art Museum. “Night Gallery is delighted to receive this prize with JPW3 and feel affirmed that his topical work resonates with the jury as well as the larger audience here in San Francisco,” said Night Gallery owner Davida Nemeroff. “Throughout his career, JPW3’s practice has been a testament to inspiration drawn from repurposed materials, an approach that grows ever more timely as issues of sustainability and housing take the foreground of public consciousness. These vibrant works speak to the continued relevance of the artist in 2020, and we are proud to see JPW3 receive due recognition for his innovations.”
The Facebook Art Department’s booth presentation Interwoven Imaginaries featured a newly commissioned, large-scale artwork by Kira Dominguez Hultgren, a Bay Area– based writer and textile artist. Over the course of the fair, Dominguez Hultgren offered participatory drop-in workshops, where fair attendees learned how to weave using various parts of their bodies as a “loom” — as a way of exposing and teaching about her weaving process. The final piece will soon be installed in a Facebook office as part of the company’s artist in residence program. The Facebook Art Department’s fair program also featured an installation of prints made by Facebook Designers in Residence Monica Garwood, Ryan Johnson, and Elana Schlenker; screen printing workshops hosted by Facebook’s Analog Research Lab; and two podcasts focusing on the intersections between analog, digital, and virtual technologies and how they can come together to create meaningful, empathic connections and spaces for discovery. “Facebook’s art program was founded on the belief that artists and their work are an essential part of a vibrant community,” says Tina Vaz, Head of Facebook’s Artist in Residence and Analog Research Lab programs. “We’re grateful to all the art appreciators who so enthusiastically engaged with our presentation at UNTITLED, ART San Francisco.”
WRITER IN RESIDENCE
Freelance art writer Brian Boucher, whose work has appeared in varied outlets, including Artnet News, New York Magazine, and Garage, inaugurated the fair’s new Writer in Residence program (WiR) in San Francisco. Boucher opened his residency with an interview with UNTITLED, ART leadership and traveled to the Bay Area to interview artists Ramekon O’Arwister, on view at the booth of Patricia Sweetow, and Noel W Anderson, exhibited by Zidoun-Bossuyt, and concluded with a feature on Mike Henderson, following his Friday evening blues concert across from the presenter Michael Rosenfeld. Follow UNTITLED, ART on Medium to read these as well as archived WiR features.
Contact: David Simantov