Between the grand opening of the gargantuan new SFMOMA, the emergence of a buzzing young arts district, and the recent arrival of mega-galleries Gagosian and Pace to the Bay Area, San Francisco is having a ‘super-major moment’, quipped LA gallerist Hannah Hoffman. Last Thursday, she and 54 other exhibitors launched the inaugural Untitled San Francisco, the latest addition to the art world’s growing calendar of global events.
The West Coast edition of the annual Miami Beach fair took place within the rusty, corrugated confines of a former warehouse on Pier 70, giving it a decidedly scrappier feel than the plush, red-carpet holdings of the city’s coinciding FOG Design+Art fair. Untitled certainly had blue-chip works to offer local and visiting power collectors, with galleries that, in Miami, would have featured at Art Basel.
Jill Magid's 'Roof Terrace with spout', 2015, is part of a body of work exploring the late Mexican architect Luis Barragán. Courtesy of Untilthen
Hannah Hoffman Gallery brought works by Sam Falls and Barbara Kasten, while Galerie Perrotin’s spread included Elmgreen & Dragset, Sophie Calle, and Maurizio Cattelan. Galleries like Madrid’s Max Estrella courted the ever-elusive, tech-mogul art collector with digital work such as Daniel Canogar’s Ripple (2016), a DayGlo screen of scrambled CNN clips. The gallery also brought Bilateral Time Slicer (2016), Mexican artist Rafael Lozana Hemmer’s interactive selfie machine that had been a hit at Untitled’s Miami Beach edition the month before.
But the real highlights of this new fair were the works you were unlikely to see at any others, including those from local institutions like the 500 Capp Street Foundation. The estate of the late American artist David Ireland presented limited-edition prints of his sketches, offering a rare look into his hand-drawn archives.
'Neutral (Itchy)', by Anouk Kruithof, 2017. Courtesy of Casemore Kirkeby
Next door to Galerie Perrotin was Casemore Kirkeby, a young gallery housed in San Francisco’s much buzzed-about Minnesota Street Project complex that had never shown at any art fairs before. A specialist in photography ‘in all its forms’, according to associate director Jennifer O’Keeffe, its highlights included Anouk Kruithof’s Neutral (Itchy) (2017), pictured above, comprising streaks of colour printed on a PVC curtain and pinned to the corner with metal bars; or Owen Kydd’s Heavy Water (2015), hypnotic video footage of a black droplet of water.