Greg S. Flood

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Art Writing

Report from ArtMRKT San Francisco – Part 1

Having three fairs in San Francisco each May for the last two years has shown us that there was room for growth in this region of the art market and that San Francisco would support it. The ArtMRKT San Francisco fair is in its second year and it dazzled the visitors again with beautiful works. The selection committee for the fair did an excellent job curating which galleries would be represented. The consistency of quality was such that, as one fairgoer that I spoke to put it, ‘the disappointing galleries are more memorable than those who were good, because they stood out.’ If you did not make it this year, next year will most likely be just as good.

Opening night was a crush of people. It was expected that 8,000 would attend and it felt like it when I walked in to the Concourse Exhibition Center a little after 8pm. It took me nearly an hour to walk 200 ft. in part because of the crowd and the sheer number of art world friends I was seeing. Opening night is almost never the best time to see work and truly evaluate it. It is about connecting with people you haven’t seen in awhile, catching up on their lives and they yours, and of course sharing all of the gossip that you may have missed. Making my way around, however, I still I managed to see just about everything and photograph some of the highlights of the fair to share with you.

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Paul Kos at Gallery Paule Anglim, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Mildred Howard at Gallery Paule Anglim, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Joan Brown at Gallery Paule Anglim, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

Walking down the ramp, I encountered the Gallery Paule Anglim in the same prime position as it was last year. On display were all of the legendary figures of the SF art world in her stable of artists. Among these were a video piece by Paul Kos from early in his career called ‘Roping Boar’s Tusk’, where Kos performs the act of roping in what appears to be monument valley. Also on display is the a small scale version of a large Bottle House by Mildred Howard currently on view in downtown Palo Alto. Even in reduced form it is a beautiful building to look at. Other notable works on display were a large Joan Brown painting, an exquisite paste-up by Jess, and a major painting by John Zurier.

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Jess at Gallery Paule Anglim, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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John Zurier at Gallery Paule Anglim, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Deborah Buttefield at Gallery Paule Anglim, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

Further down the corridor of the fair is a stunning Deborah Butterfield horse, which was brought to the fair by Gallery Paule Anglim as well. Butterfield is considered by some to be the most important sculptor working in America at the moment, and I agree with them. Her work has been solely focused on horses for the last 30+ years and her life size piece made of drift wood cast in bronze and patinated to look like the original wood is as great as any she has ever made. There are very few artists whose work is consistently good, let alone great, but Butterfield manages this feat with every piece. The other major achievement Butterfield has been able to do is give her works a feeling of being alive and/or a soul. The combination of consistency, skill, and imbuement with life will guarantee that her work will have lasting power for generations to come.

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Kara Maria at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Kara Maria at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Scott Greene at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Walter Robinson at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Travis Somerville at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

A short walk away was the booth for the Catharine Clark Gallery, which represents some of the most cutting edge artists of today. Among the works on view were delicate drawings by Kara Maria, a large drawing of the US by Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet, a painting by Scott Greene that has the ability to be hung in all four directions, a wooden Walter Robinson sculpture of a larger than life size gas can with a baby’s pacifier attached to the spout, and a daring drawing by Travis Somerville done directly on the wall of the booth.

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Chester Arnold at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Chester Arnold (detail) at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Masami Teraoka at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Masami Teraoka at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Al Farrow at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Nina Katchadourian at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Nina Katchadourian at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Timothy Cummings at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Anthony Discenza at Catharine Clark Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

Other works included a post-apocalyptic cityscape painted by Chester Arnold, an Al Farrow cathedral sculpted out of guns and ammunition, an early Masami Teraoka woodblock print in excellent condition, humorous and poignant photographs of books by Nina Katchadourian, and a sumptuous Timothy Cummings painting. One final work of note at the booth is a sign by Anthony Discenza that could easily be used to sum up the fair itself. It reads ‘Transported into a Realm of Remote and Delicate Metaphor – Will We See Angels?’

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Ron Nagle at Rena Bransten Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Tony DeLap at Rena Bransten Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

Further down the center hall was the booth for the Rena Bransten Gallery. Both last and this year, the Rena Bransten Gallery has done something usual among the galleries at the fair. Instead of filling the booth with many works by various artists, they have chosen a more restrained presentation. Last year it was just three gigantic photographs by Vik Muniz. This year they presented a wall of small ceramics by Ron Nagle that were fresh from the studio and a couple of sculptural paintings by Tony DeLap on the other walls. Their presentation has consistently provided a welcome relief from the visual density of a number of the other booths in the fair as well as beautiful works to look at. I encourage them to continue this for next year’s ArtMRKT San Francisco.

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Markus Linnenbrink at Patricia Sweetow Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Markus Linnenbrink at Patricia Sweetow Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

Coming upon the Patricia Sweetow Gallery booth there were more visual delights to be had. On view were large works by German artist Markus Linnenbrink, including one of his signature drip paintings on the wall of the booth and one of his cast free standing sculptures. Also on view were small pieces by renowned bay area artists Robert Hudson, Cornelia Schulz, and David Huffman. Later this year, Patricia Sweetow Gallery will be having side by side solo shows of works by Hudson and Schulz. It is something I am looking forward to.

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Viola Frey at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Viola Frey at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Michael Gregory at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Michael Gregory at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

The first visiting gallery I came upon was the booth for the Nancy Hoffman Gallery. As a New York dealer she has, along with a couple of other galleries, represented bay area artists on the east coast for many years. I applaud her for this and her showing at the fair represented a number of the best west coast artists. With one large ceramic sculpture and two small ones on view, as well as two paintings, Viola Frey was well represented this year. Also commanding attention were three large and exquisite paintings by Michael Gregory. He is one of the best landscape painters working today. Other works included paintings by Timothy Cummings, Hung Liu, and a subtle wall relief by Rupert Deese in goldenseal yellow.

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Timothy Cummings at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Hung Liu at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

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Rupert Deese at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, ArtMRKT San Francisco, 2012 (Image Courtesy of the Gallery and Greg Flood)

This was a great start to ArtMRKT San Francisco. Seeing established artists represented well is always reassuring and having it be predominantly artists from the bay area is a delight. Since ArtMRKT San Francisco has a number of sister fairs that happen across the country, I hope that this same level of representation for the bay area will translate through these dealers in those other cities.

My journey through the fair continues in part two, coming next week. Stay Tuned!

#ArtMarketSanFrancisco #ArtMRKTSF #GalleryPauleAnglim #PaulKos #MildredHoward #JoanBrown #Jess #JohnZurier #DeborahButterfield #CatharineClarkGallery #KaraMaria #SandowBirk #ScottGreene #WalterRobinson #TravisSommerville #ChesterArnold #AlFarrow #MasamiTeraoka #NinaKatchadourian #TimothyCummings #AnthinyDiscenza #RonNagle #TonyDeLap #MarkusLinnenbrink #ViolaFrey #MichaelGregory #HungLiu #RupertDeese

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