Experiments and Explorations Rule This Year’s FOG Design+Art
FOG Design+Art opens today with a highly curated selection of design and visual arts exhibitions at Fort Mason Center, San Francisco. 45 leading international galleries have been chosen from a total of 95 entries to participate in the fair that celebrates San Francisco’s long-standing history as the hub for innovation and experiments in design and arts. We get Douglas Durkin, Fog Design+Art Steering Committee Member, to share his insights into the upcoming design trends and the show stealers at the fair’s fifth edition. Edited excerpts:1. What are the themes and trends to watch out for at FOG Design+Art 2018?I think we should be on the lookout for greater experimentation in the world of design. Beauty and function does not seem to be driving this discussion, more explorations of form and materiality…as well, given our current political climate, continued dialogues about race in our country, and the now long overdue discussion of harassment towards women, the art world is poised to make some real responses. 2. What are your observations about the major changes or shift in the world of design since the festival’s first edition?When we started FOG Design+Art in 2014, we had a greater focus on vintage design of the 20th century. In the last five years, we’ve seen a real swing from our new dealers, as well as returning dealers whose programs were historical in nature, towards contemporary design, with an eye towards exploration and experimentation. Whether in ceramics, furniture, objects, or work that is based in technology, what has been revered as beauty is being challenged in interesting ways.3. Would you like to predict the future of design in the next five years?Given the above, I think the next five years will be a period of review: In this flurry of new form and new ideas that the market is particularly interested in right now, it will be interesting to see what work sticks so to speak, and what will ultimately be forgotten. With that said, design that is not only functional, but beautiful I think will always hold a special place of reverence for collectors. 4. How do you go about selecting the galleries?Our application process has become quite involved. Of course, given the small scale of FOG (only 45 dealers total) and a first look at repeat dealers, competition for space has become very intense. We have also dedicated the fair to showing about 50%/50% between design and art and so we have some very real built in limitations that we’re dealing with. In terms of design, we are looking to limit repetition with our galleries focused on historical 20th century (so we only have one gallery dealing in Scandinavian works, and only one dealing in post-war French works, as an example), and have taken a very critical eye towards contemporary design dealers. We feel we’ve done a very good job of bringing in the best from these worlds. In terms of art, we have experienced a huge influx of applications from dealers around the world seeking entry. The application process really makes the difference. We are less interested in dealers of the secondary market, and more interested in fresh perspectives and diverse price points. We’re also trying to strike a balance between powerhouse galleries, and smaller yet important dealers. And in both case, booth aesthetics are critical. It’s a small fair with a spacious layout. We require not only quality in the works being offered, but for the booth to be visually engaging.5. Who do you think will be the show stealers this year?Kim Hostler of Hostler Burrows NY is bringing some exciting new ceramic artists that she has not exhibited before. Ugo Casati of Chicago, who had a standout booth last year, will be bringing his critical program mixing important Italian 1950’s design, with some contemporary work as well. Marian Goodman of NY will be bringing an impressive and elegant Giuseppe Penone sculpture. Gavin Brown Enterprises is bring an exciting lineup of three artists, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Martin Creed, and Alex KatzFOG Design+Art 2018 runs from January 11 to 14, 2018 at Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, San Francisco.Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the top picks from the fair.