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We caught up with the fair’s director, Manuela Mozo, about what to expect this week and what she’ll be making sure to see outside Pier 35.
WHITEWALLER: This is Untitled Art’s third edition in San Francisco. How is the city’s contemporary art scene changing? What makes it an exciting place for Untitled to return to?
MANUELA MOZO: Since the debut of Untitled Art, San Francisco in 2017 we have seen a growth in participation and attendance each year. San Francisco is a community deeply committed to the arts and its longstanding institutions and cultural organizations. It is exciting to be part of a city with such a deep and rich cultural history, and we look forward to being part of its future as it pertains to the contemporary art market.
We have seen not only the support and interest increasing with each year that we have participated in San Francisco but also the involvement of the city and local non-profit organizations.
WW: Is there a new country or city that will be represented this year?
MM: We have quite a few new countries exhibiting with us in San Francisco this year which is very exciting, but to name a few; MAKASIINI CONTEMPORARY from Finland who will be presenting a selection of gallery artists who have helped form the basis of the gallery’s program. NUNU Fine Art from Taipei will present the work of a single artist, Keb Cerda with a project that incorporates paintings and interactive media technology, to explore the history of San Francisco. Also, the Polana Institute from Warsaw will present a series of paintings by Mikolaj Sobczak which explores the notion of “drag.”
WW: Who are some of the fair first-timers, collectors should keep an eye out for?
MM: Polígrafa Obra Gràfica is a print workshop from Barcelona that invites artists to do etchings, lithography, woodcuts, and other traditional print techniques. They produce only the highest caliber of prints and editions from prominent international artists and will be presenting new editions by Matt Connors, Peter Halley, Timothy Curtis, Miles Aldridge, Jordi Alcaraz, Carlos Cruz-Diez, and Olivier Mosset.
The contemporary ceramic works by Alexandre & Florentine LAMARCHE-OVIZE at Lefebvre & Fils entitled Flowers for Fantin-Latour will consist of a series of ceramic works inspired by Henri Fantin-Latour’s painting Un coin de table, from 1872, a period assimilated to the English Art & Crafts movement that sought to abolition the borders between art and craftsmanship.
WW: Several new exhibitors have chosen to present solo booths. Can you share a few of those highlights?
MM: We are looking forward to Blain|Southern presenting Mat Collishaw’s zoetrope entitled All Things Fall; Philip-Lorca diCorcia presented by David Zwirner; Charles Moffet’s selection of new paintings by Los Angeles-based Lily Stockman; Catharine Clark Gallery presenting Lenka Clayton’s typewriter drawings and video. From Los Angeles, Five Car Garage will present Alison Blickle’s temple—like, site-specific installation of objects, vessels, and instruments; San Francisco’s Gallery Wendi Norris will introduce new works by Brooklyn-based artist Chitra Ganesh, and New York’s Bortolami Gallery will present a series of Nicolás Guagnini’s ceramic paintings.
WW: How have solo and focused presentations contributed to the success of Untitled Art, do you think?
MM: Exhibitors who highlight the work of a single artist, allow for a more focused presentation and in-depth look at a body of work or artistic practice. Collectors, advisors, and curators from the San Francisco area have developed a growing enthusiasm for exposure to more emerging and mid-career artwork, and a solo or focused presentation helps provide that.
WW: This year also introduces the inaugural Untitled Art, San Francisco Ambassador Committee of over 50 prominent leaders, museum directors, curators, advisors, and more. Can you tell us about your vision for the role of this committee?
MM: The role of the Untitled Art, San Francisco Ambassador Committee is all about engagement. We are still a young fair in San Francisco but we are committed to the community there because it has committed to us, and this Committee, is a gesture of that shared commitment.
San Francisco has always had really great collectors and collections, but there is a new generation of collectors developing in San Francisco that want more engagement and exposure to the international contemporary art world, from emerging artists to the established. As an art fair, with an extensive global network, we are delivering that exposure of international galleries and artists to San Francisco collectors that may not travel as frequently to fairs in Miami or other cities around the world.
Moreover, the Committee serves a functional purpose: members are helping us grow our audience by bringing their extensive network into the Untitled Art community, as well as participating in programming—from private collections visits to talks programs in lead-up to our fair in January.
WW: Outside of the fair, what are you looking forward to seeing in San Francisco this January?
MM: The San Francisco-based nonprofit organization FOR-SITE has organized a walking tour of Andy Goldsworthy’s site-specific work at the Presidio. I can’t wait to see the Mike Kelley exhibition at 500 Capp Street, the Vija Celmins at SFMOMA, and Harvey Quaytman at BAMPFA.
Other than seeing a lot of art, I’m looking forward to visiting two new restaurants since I was last in San Francisco, Pearl 6101 and Bon Voyage.
And I might just go looking for some hot springs at the end of my week.