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San Francisco Art Expo: Emerging Artists Fare Well

The seventh annual San Francisco International Art Expo (SFIAE), held from Jan. 14–17 at Fort Mason Center, showed a strong, albeit more regional, offering than in previous years. The number of attendees—10,000—was almost identical to the 2004 total.

SAN FRANCISCO—The seventh annual San Francisco International Art Expo (SFIAE), held from Jan. 14–17 at Fort Mason Center, showed a strong, albeit more regional, offering than in previous years. The number of attendees—10,000—was almost identical to the 2004 total.

The majority of galleries at SFIAE hailed from the Bay Area and nearby with a smattering of East Coast representation and a handful of dealers from outside the U.S. Artists shown ranged from emerging to modern masters and included the fair’s usual representation of the Bay Area’s well-known artists—Wayne Thiebaud, David Park and Richard Diebenkorn, among others.

Galleries overall reported good revenue, though figures this year didn’t appear to meet the same high marks as in previous years. Many galleries, like San Francisco’s Paul Thiebaud Gallery, saw a good number of sales from a wide sampling of artists including Yaz Krehbiel, Stephan de Staebler (the gallery sold five of his ceramics) and Wayne Thiebaud. The gallery declined to cite prices on the works sold.

On the high end, Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery, San Francisco, sold the1960 Park work Woman with Raised Arms for a price in the six figures. San Francisco-based Hackett-Freedman Gallery’s sales were “not robust” according to director Tracy Freedman. Although, among other sales, a $35,000 still life by Raimonds Staprans found a buyer, no big modern master sales transpired—a huge departure from years past, she noted.

The mid- to lower-priced realm appeared to see greater movement. Galleries that focused on emerging and mid-career artists benefited. For example, Julie Baker Fine Art, Grass Valley, Calif., sold a number of works by artists including Marnie Spencer, Matt Duffin and Don Fritz for prices ranging from $350/15,000; Catharine Clark Gallery of San Francisco sold pieces ranging from $400/28,000 by artists such as Al Farrow, Timothy Cummings and Travis Somerville.

CHERIE LOUISE TURNER

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