Contemporary works to see and buy 

It came from the Hamptons, the Long Island community famous for its summer colony of artists and vacationers.

The San Francisco Fine Art Fair, a huge exhibit-and-sales event in Fort Mason this weekend, is managed by the Hamptons Expo Group, which also runs ArtHamptons in July. The ArtAspen edition, in Colorado, will have its first year in August.

Similar in location and purpose to the well-established annual Tribal Arts and Textile Arts and Arts of Pacific Asia shows in Fort Mason, the Fine Art Fair deals with contemporary art.

Rick Friedman, the fair’s executive director, says the launch of the new SF Fine Art Fair, “bringing together hundreds of modern and contemporary artworks from an international array of galleries” is the first of what is hoped will be an annual series.

Some 75 major galleries are presenting more than 6,000 works to display and sell in the 50,000-square-foot hall.

Many are of great value. The Gerald Peters Gallery, for example, will show $15 million worth of Andrew Wyeth paintings.

Among the 500 artists attending the presentation of their work is Sibylle Szaggars Redford, at Linda Fairchild’s booth.

On the nonprofit side, ZER01 is debuting Chico MacMurtrie’s amorphous robot, an “inflatable growth sculpture,” which was all the rave in Shanghai when it debuted there last year. The strange, large object, with a constantly changing shape, stands at the entrance to the fair.

In addition to viewing and purchasing works, the fair also presents a fundraising gala Thursday for the venerable San Francisco Art Institute, founded in 1871.

A lifetime achievement award will be presented to one of the Bay Area’s best-known art dealers, Ruth Braunstein, owner of Braunstein/Quay. She is celebrating her 50th year in the business, but she is quite emphatic about not retiring.

A highlight of the fair is LIFT — a series of gallery-sponsored solo artist booths focused on highlighting some of the best new talents and trends in contemporary art. LIFT galleries are located throughout the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion exhibition space.

During the fair, a West Coast Art Collectors’ Conference is being held for fair-goers, with the participation of gallerists, art magazine publishers and editors, arts consultants and collectors.

Topics include “How Do Contemporary Galleries Select their Artists,” moderated by American Art Collector editor Joshua Rose, “Tips and Strategies to Effective Art Buying” with panelists from Metropolitan Art Advisors, Bonhams & Butterfields and Jerald Melberg Gallery; and Sundaram Tagore’s session on “The Promise of Modernism: Indian Art From 1900 to Present.”


SF Fine Art Fair

Where: Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, San Francisco

When: Noon to 8 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $15 for one day, $25 for three days; $65 for all events, including preview party

Contact: (800) 211-0640,

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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