THE BLOG

Temporary Contemporary Lifts the FOG

01/23/2014 03:11 pm 15:11:20 | Updated Mar 25, 2014

There was a lot of dough on display at the FOG Design+Art Fair at Fort Mason, and some of it was being hand-cut on a butcher block. Chef Michael Tusk, the Michelin-starred genius of gluten at Quince and Cotogna restaurants, was given a prominent place at the entrance to roll out his new handmade pasta line. The flour and eggs were being featured in a built-to-suit "kitchen" ingeniously made of plywood, right down to the playhouse stovetops, as the opening feature of this four-day design fest. Fantasy and reality continued to meld throughout the show, which highlighted a broad swath of 20th-century and contemporary modern design galleries, artists and concepts. The satisfying result was a brief but beautiful scene and shopping experience that, like its name, was as cool as a cloud of San Francisco fog.

Exhibitors pulled out the stops, bringing signature pieces they knew would appeal to the well-heeled crowd of designers, patrons, chic-seekers and art collectors who gathered for a gander. The sartorial standard was sky-high, as were the Louboutins on the lithe lovelies and gamine gallerias in the group. Exhibitors stepped up their game to bring their best interpretations of the now: Industry Gallery from Los Angeles brought Benjamin Rollins Caldwell's living room installation made entirely from discarded computer parts, the NWBLK featured its signature mashup of art, furniture and leather wearables, and HEDGE Gallery featured Ron Arad's 3-D images of automobiles crushed in the manner of pressed flowers. There were Murakamis and murals, photography and folk art, sculptures and settees, all belonging to that felicitous but foggy category known as "modern."

The fair was dedicated to "the luminous memory" Elaine McKeown, who championed all things au courant as chair of SFMOMA from 1995-2004, and who encouraged the establishment of the fair in San Francisco. Her daughters, Honorary Chairs Eileen Michael and Cathy Topham channeled their mother's enthusiasm and warm welcome to guests along with their respective husbands Peter Michael and Ned Topham; tasteful touches from the top-tier Steering Committee of Douglas Durikin, Stanlee Gatti, Katie Paige and Allison Speer were evident throughout, from the sleek exhibition areas to the well-designed program. The Preview Gala benefiting SFMOMA On the Go reminded patrons that the museum continues to play a strong educational role, even during its current renovation. McCall's Caterers got into the swing of things with a delectable mid-century smorgasbord buffet of Swedish meatballs, charcuterie, pickled potato salad, and cheese fondue; roving food carts added built-to-suit tacos and dim sum to the mobile menu. The only thing missing, ironically, was a taste of the Tusk -- like Berggruen Gallery's luscious Thiebauds on display, the entryway pasta offered a peek for the eyes but not the palate, a wisp of an idea as elusive as the FOG.

Piquing and peeking: The aptly named Innovators Committee included Sabrina Buell and Yves Behar, Heidi and Caley Castelein, Brian Chesky, Dwell Magazine's Laura Hedberg Deam and Christopher Deam, Grit and Dave Morin, Susan Swig, Alison and Mark Pincus, Abigail Turin and Jonathan Gans, Alicia Engstrom and Hosain Rahman. Dealers Committee was Chaired by Roth Mrtin of Hedge, along with Jeffrey Fraenkel, Kim Hostler, Anthony Meier, Zesty Meyers and Evan Snyderman, Thomas Ryan, Gerard O'Brien, and girl wonder Jessica Silverman. Party patrons included Helen and Chuck Schwab, Leigh and Bill Matthes, Vanessa and Billy Getty, Randi and Bob Fisher and Sako and William Fisher, (Gap, Airbnb, and Christie's underwrote part of the show.) Amanda Michael and Michael Harrington, Nicola Miner and Robert Mailer Anderson, Lisa nd John Pritzker, Danielle and Brooks Walker, Penny and James Coulter, Kate and Adam Clammer, Carolyn and Preston Butcher, Fannie Allen and George Cogan, who lost their heads over some fancy lace, Helen Hilton Raiser, Kay and Frank Woods, Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, Dolly and George Chammas, Max Armour, Alka and Ravin Agrawal, Susan Dunlevy, Matthew Goudeau, Christine Herron, Christine Suppes, Kurt Melander, Diana Nelson and John Atwater, Norah and Norman Stone, Annie and Montgomery Woods, Kay and Frank Woods, Dr. Carolyn Chang, Lindsay Tusk, and many more who found their way through the FOG.