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Inside the Flurry and Excitement of the FOG Design+Art Show

The Hex Chair by Michael Young, 2012. The Hex work begins with a solid block of high-grade aluminum specially created for the designer. The asking price is $65,000.
The Hex Chair by Michael Young, 2012. The Hex work begins with a solid block of high-grade aluminum specially created for the designer. The asking price is $65,000.

The Friedman Benda booth, featuring the work of Misha Kahn. All photos by Patricia Chang Photography for Curbed.
With the arrival of the second annual FOG Design+Art fair at Fort Mason, San Francisco's collectors, socialites, interior designers, and self-titled design nerds have all been buzzing about what to expect from the 36 galleries and showrooms that received a coveted spot at the showcase. On view through Sunday, January 18, the fair aims to shine a light on design and art from the 20th and 21st centuries, and we've been curious to see if there's a healthy mix of up-and-coming talent as well as iconic midcentury modern pieces.

Hedge Gallery

The Hedge booth, featuring work from contemporary artist Michael Young.
Our first stop is at Hedge, a gallery we've had our eye on ever since we happened by a stunning Gio Ponti and Piero Fornsetti gun vanity desk on display in the window of their Jackson Square showroom six years ago. In 20th-century design, Hedge's Jennifer Slavin says the gallery frequently seeks out modernism, primarily midcentury and European. The gallery also collaborates with contemporary designers to create special commissions for collectors.

This year Hedge is showing the work of Michael Young, a British-born, Hong Kong-based industrial designer who is well known for his mass-produced industrial designs, such as watches and bicycles. Hedge is showing Young's Metal Rock line as well as the Hex Series, both of them made entirely of aluminum.

Reform Gallery

Foreground: J.B. Blunk's "Universal Disc." Background: A stoneware wall by David Cressey, commissioned in 1963.
Founded by Gerard O'Brien in 2003, Reform Gallery out of Los Angeles specializes in postwar California design. There were several standout pieces at the booth, including J.B. Blunk's 1974 "Universal Disc," a sort of sister piece to "The Planet," which is at the Oakland Museum. "It's sort of a mini environment," says O'Brien. "It functions as a desk, as a table, as a seating unit. It just has infinite beauty about it." O'Brien was hesitant to give pricing, but he did say that a clay wall by David Cressey is $100,000.

O'Brien is also showing Michael Cooper's Overarmed Wheelchair, from 1980, which was featured in Cooper's retrospective at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco in 2012.

R & Company

Hosfelt Gallery

Stefan Kürten at the Hosfelt Gallery
The Hosfelt Gallery booth features a painting by Stefan Kürten, priced at $40,000. "It's about the romance of the 1960s, 1970s, which would have been his childhood," says Todd Hosfelt. "The entire painting is painted onto a gold pigmented ground. It's metallic, so there's this kind of preciousness to it."
Stefan Kürten (detail view) at the Hosfelt Gallery.
Magen H. Gallery

Edward Cella Art + Architecture

Also from Los Angeles, Edward Cella Art + Architecture specializes in drawings and objects by 20th-century architects. Cella's booth is all about Lawrence Halprin, one of America's great landscape architects. He trained at Harvard and used drawing throughout his life to explore the places he experienced. In 1945, Halprin made View From Hunter's Point, San Francisco, one of the pen-and-ink works depicting the city that he drew after returning to San Francisco toward the end of World War II, after serving on a naval destroyer in the South Pacific. "It was also at that time that he met William Wurster and Tommy Church," Cella says, referring to the landscape architect Thomas Church. The piece is offered at $6,500. Todd Merrill Studio

New York's Todd Merrill Studio featured new work from contemporary artist Joseph Walsh, a porcelain triptych from Beth Katleman, an LED light sculpture from Niamh Barry, and ceramics by Molly Hatch. ornamentum gallery

Next stop: ornamentum gallery, which hails from Hudson, New York, and specializes in nontraditional contemporary jewelry. "Many of our artists have pushed their work far outside the realm of the actual wearable piece," says ornamentum's Stefan Fredemann.

Front and center at the booth is an acrylic table by Ted Noten, the first in an edition of seven, and the designer's first foray into furniture. The acrylic has a golden bell and several other objects cast inside, with a combination of machine and hand engraving on the top. "Ted is known for creating a vague narrative in his work, by the objects portrayed within the handbags or suitcases, in this case the table," says Fredemann. "There's a golden bell, which to me signifies different aspects of what a conversation is … being demanding, pushing your opinions." The price? $160,000.

Lebreton Gallery

Lebreton Gallery, which specializes in French and European mid-20th-century furniture, sculptures, and art between the 1940s and the 1970s, is showing an exceptional sculpture-slash-tapestry by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. Demisch Danant

There is quite a bit of excitement around the pieces the New York gallery Demisch Danant is showing. The gallery focuses on French design from the 1950s to the 1970s, though it does have one contemporary piece by Maria Pergay, a table that was designed in 2012. Hostler Burrows

Hostler Burrows specializes in 20th-century Scandinavian furniture and decorative arts, with a focus on studio ceramics. Converso

The Friedman Benda booth, featuring the work of Misha Kahn.

Cristina Grajales Gallery

The 2015 FOG Design+Art fair runs through Sunday, January 18, at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion. · FOG Design+Art [Official Site]

Fort Mason

100 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94123 415 345 7500