FOG Art Fair 2024.
Photo: Nikki Ritcher

Discover the Buzziest Emerging Artists at FOG Design+Art fair in San Francisco

The 10th edition of the fair expands with a vibrant new section devoted to young and up-and-coming artists and galleries

Described as “an artistic homage to New York’s legendary culinary delicacy,” U.K.-based artist Lucy Sparrow’s Feltz Bagels is fully stocked with everything a bagel connoisseur desires: lox, schmear, sliced tomatoes, all masterfully and convincingly constructed out of felt. The traveling installation is part of the artist’s ongoing commentary on the slow demise of traditional mom-and-pop shops in cities from London to New York, but still, it strikes a playful tone.

British artist Lucy Sparrow brings her latest handmade and fully felted installation "Feltz Bagels" to FOG 2023. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and FOG

Detail of Lucy Sparrow's "Feltz Bagel" installation. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and FOG

The work greets visitors at the entrance of FOG FOCUS, the newly launched section of the FOG Design+Art fair in San Francisco. Launched next door to FOG’s annual home at Fort Mason Pier 3, FOCUS celebrates the fair’s 10th anniversary with a program of emerging artists and galleries. It also expands FOG’s footprint by taking over Pier 2, the former military port that was most recently studios and gallery spaces for the recently-shuttered San Francisco Art Institute.

Chloe Sherman, Dusty and Mary SF, (1998). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Schlomer Haus Gallery

To honor that history, FOCUS exhibitor Schlomer Haus Gallery devoted its booth to works by Chloe Sherman, a photographer who documented San Francisco’s vibrant queer community in the 1990s while she was attending SFAI. “These are her friends and lovers,” says gallery owner Steffan Schlarb, describing the young women looking out behind the wheels of classic cars, or posing nonchalantly in their bedrooms. Shot on 35 millimeter FUJI film, the images remained unprinted negatives until 2022, when the gallery published them as both a book and traveling exhibition called Renegades. San Francisco: The 1990s.

Over these last decades, the quality of the film hasn’t degraded at all, “So you get these amazing deep blacks and these beautiful, vibrant reds,” Schlarb says. “It really captures a time and place, and a kind of community that isn’t really in San Francisco right now.

Adana Tillman, Unwind, (2023). Photo: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography; Courtesy the artist and Jonathan Carver Moore Gallery

Having opened in San Francisco in October 2021, Schlomer Haus Gallery is one of the youngest exhibitors at the fair. Even younger is Jonathan Carver Moore, an eponymous space that launched on Market Street in 2023. Reflecting his overall focus on emerging women and queer artists of color, he presents works from Adana Tillman: portraits of Black women constructed as textile collages, with a mix of fabrics that have been found, appliquéd, or hand-dyed.

Masako Miki, Hyakki Yagyo, Night Parade of One Hundred Demons - Beginning of Another Life, (2021). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and CULT Aimee Friberg

Rosha Yaghmai, Afterimage, Beam, (2023). Photo: Paul Salveson; courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles, Mexico City.

From Moore’s booth to San Francisco gallery CULT Aimee Friberg’s presentation of Masako Miki’s vibrant watercolors, unabashedly vibrant colors abound. At Los Angeles gallery Commonwealth & Council’s booth, the brilliant hues of Rosha Yaghmai’s paintings have the kind of magnetic presence that resounds from across the fair. The L.A. artist’s work comprises scenes from the artist’s memories—“from landscape imagery in Persian miniatures to park benches ubiquitous in 1980s California,” says gallerist Kibum Kim—abstracted into a DayGlo palette that’s painted on diaphanous sheets of black gauze. Each composition features three to five layers of gauze that mute and distort the image, creating hypnotic, almost lenticular compositions.

Ben Sanders, Siren XXI, (2023). Photo: Deen Babakhyi; Courtesy of the Artist and OCHI

The most colorful works of all are that of young L.A. painter Ben Sanders, presented by L.A. gallery Ochi Projects. As a descendant of 1930s transcendental painters like Agnes Pelton, Sanders’ compositions vaguely recall the familiarity of a landscape, but with unidentifiable forms with razor-sharp edges, and acid-bright gradients and blocks of color. “He calls these post-human landscapes,” says gallerist Paulie Ochi. “He’s essentially imagining this world without humans in it—where there’s no human morality applied any of our sensibilities.”

Huyghe, Untitled (Human Mask), (2014) as part of the Gray Box installation at FOG 2023. Photo: Image Courtesy of Pamela and Richard Kramlich

As a FOG first-time presenter who used to show at the Untitled San Francisco fair before its pandemic closure, Ochi adds that she’s happy to be showing again in the city, particularly for its relaxed mood. “I appreciate that the collectors here are really thoughtful,” she says, recalling the VIP opening from the night before. “Most VIP events are more serious—they’re about buying—but people were in a celebratory mood. It was really about celebrating the art.”

FOG Art & Design in San Francisco is on view until January 21, 2024 

Cover: FOG Art Fair 2024.
Photo: Nikki Ritcher


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