Thursday, June 2, 2011

San Francisco Art Fairs May 19-22nd 2011

artMRKT San Francisco 2011
Having taken a hint from cities like New York, Miami, Los Angeles and many others worldwide, San Francisco has stepped up to the plate with a trifecta of contemporary art fairs this year. Three fairs : San Francisco Fine Art Fair (SFFAF), SF artMRKT and ArtPadSF representing galleries and artists worldwide for a concentrated and slightly overwhelming three days. I have been to similar art fairs in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Italy and for the most part these fairs in San Francisco held their own. I was most impressed with artMRKT and ArtPadSF for their energy and focus on emerging and mid-career contemporary work. The SFFAF felt to me like it needed a sip of Redbull or a shot of Tequila, or perhaps both would have been best. The work seemed, with exception to a few, slightly predictable in comparison to the other fairs, which left my excitement at bay (pun intended).

It is no secret that the San Francisco contemporary art world has been attempting to depart from the seemingly inescapable love child that is The Bay Area Figurative Movement from the fifties and sixties. Don't get me wrong, I love the work of artists like David Park, Richard Diebenkorn, Elmer Bischoff, Wayne Thiebaud and others that were involved in the subsequent "generations" of the movement, but that work was then, not now. And while San Francisco will always be associated with this movement, it is fairs like these that help to open the door for San Francisco as a destination for new and noteworthy artwork. The city is packed with incredible artists, galleries and arguably some of the best art schools in the country. This short weekend may have provided a long overdue recognition that San Francisco has still got it as a center for contemporary art. I am excited to see what next year brings...

Below are some photos of the experience:


artMRKT San Francisco - The Contemporary and Modern Art Fair from Arbiter Productions on Vimeo.

Jenny Morgan, 'All This Time' at Like The Spice