Just as Zesty Meyers predicted a year ago SF20, the San Francisco 20th Century Art and Design Show, is on its way to become the West Coast’s preeminent modernism show. Judging from the turnout at the opening night gala that benefitted the SFMOMA SF20 is catching on quickly. Honorary Chairs Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, event co-chairs Katie Schwab, Allison Speer and Stanlee Gatti and Designer Forum Chair Douglas Durkin drew serious collectors from all over, supporters of SFMOMA, most interiors designers I know, and all generations of the social set.
Upon entering the Festival Pavilion guests were creatively introduced to the 20th century by emerging local artists from the 21st century. In an open display, aptly named Pop 21 and expertly designed and curated by Stanlee Gatti, artists such as sculptors Nemo Gould and Lawrence LaBianca, surfboard artist Danny Hess, graphic artist Jeff Canham, and industrial/furniture designer Isao Takezawa showed off their creations, while giving us a taste of what the future may have to offer.
“The opening was extremely well attended and a resounding success. The curated exhibition by Stanlee Gatti was incredible and brought an exciting dynamic to the show.” Evan Snyderman
Taking a step back in time the rest of the show included furniture, lighting, jewelry, objets d’art, paintings and photography from the teens through the nineties. Familiar dealers like R Gallery, Hedge Gallery, Ma(i)sonry, Battersea, Peter Pap Oriental Rugs, Reform Gallery and Dragonette returned and were joined by new ones like Artefact Design & Salvage, Silverman Gallery and Domont.
Around 750 guests, mingled and indulged in delicious bites by McCall and cocktails by Grey Goose, but more importantly admired and shopped. Some of the pieces were truly museum-quality, but you could actually take them home, for the right price that is. Celebrating modernism were Mayor Gavin Newsom, Charlotte Schultz, Norah and Norman Stone, Jill and Andrew Barnett, Jennifer and Doug Biederbeck, Vanessa Getty, actress Connie Nielsen, Dorothy and Ken Paige, Sara and Austin Hills, Merla Zellerbach, Mimi Haas, Alexis and Trevor Traina, Elizabeth Touw, Angelique and Troy Griepp, Karen Caldwell, Jennifer Raiser, Jenna and Brian Hunt, Randi Fisher, Lana and John Adair, and Alison Pincus.
Of course the world of design and architecture was also well represented. Showing who was not in attendance may be the shorter list. To name a few, Andrew Skurman, Suzanne Tucker, Stephen Shubel, Ken Fulk, Stephen Sutro, Geoff de Sousa, Charles de Lisle, Cecilia Sagrera, George Brazil, Brian Dittmar, Will Wick, Matthew Turner, Benjamin Dhong, Katherine Navarra, Kurt Melander, and Stephen Suzman.
Speaking of admiring and shopping there were temptations galore, and everyone got first dibs at some amazing pieces from over 35 gallerists from near and far including Los Angeles, New York and London.
Reform Gallery (Los Angeles) once again showed unique creations by California artists including J. B. Blunk whose work and legacy were the subject of a panel discussion the following night about the studio craft movement in Marin County.
“True appreciation of artifacts I think comes from understanding more about the objects, such as how they are made and where they come from. SF20 was a perfect platform for everyone to get close to and have a better understanding of some of the best and most admired artifacts in the 20th century. To me, seeing that many people are supporting this culture of preserving and passing on best works of human kind was simply amazing.” Isao Takezawa
Artefact Design & Salvage (Sonoma) is known for its rustic and recycled elements participated for the first time and provided a wonderful contrast to more formal works.
Dragonette(Los Angeles) not only brought some amazing variety of furniture, but also once again some exquisite pieces of vintage jewelry. They got some serious competition in the jewelry department this time with Domont Jewelry that carried a huge collection of stunning large-scale necklaces, earrings and cuffs that made a number of women swoon, me being one of them. “The bigger the better”, I say! The booth at times was so crowed you could only get a split second look at a piece as someone was hovering right over you to get a peek at something else.
“For my first time at SF20, this was an incredible experience with amazing support across the board–from the organizers to the rich design community. For the gallery, it was refreshing to have our artists appear within a design context; it provided an new perspective and it definitely pushed us to innovate our presentation–particularly with such esteemed neighbors (we were right across the amazing booth from Hedge) . Jessica Silverman
The award for the most beautiful booth goes toHedge Gallery (San Francisco). Designed by Houman Sharif, AIA of MEMarchitecture the modular eco pavillion created the most pleasing atmosphere to display the gallery’s collection of contemporary objects. Selections by artists from Italy, France, Germany, UK, Japan, and California were expressed in materials ranging from patinated brass, anodized aluminum, ceramic, and antique mirror to reclaimed wood.
In the spirit of art of Pop 21 Silverman Gallery participated for the first time, bringing works by local and national artists. Matt Lipps was an instant hit with collectors whose haunting and darkly romantic photographs found their way to many Bay area homes that evening. Art was well-represented with galleries such as Dennis Clark Fine Arts (Carmel) representing unique sculptural objects and Jeffrey Winter Fine Arts (West Hollywood) with a collection of paintings from the twenties through the forties.
The Silver Fund (San Francisco) was not the only dealer showing gorgeous sterling pieces this year. Percy’s Silver brought some wonderful pieces including their specialty, claret jugs, which are silver-mounted wine bottles.
Overall there was a wonderful variety of objects and furnishings representing the 20th and 21st centuries, which also resonated with collectors and made many dealers very happy. On our way out we spotted quite a few bags, while red dots on many of the larger pieces were proof of a successful evening.
“The show felt like it came together this year and is developing into a spectacular American design show. Having the full support and involvement of the SFMoMA– and the dialogue that results from bringing all of these great curators and collectors together– adds a dimension to the show that is extremely rewarding for the dealers.” Zesty Meyers