San Francisco’s Fog Design+Art Fair Preview Gala welcomed the crowd with a colorful installation by Bay Area artist Jenny Sharaf.

In January, the fog rolled in, yet everyone was delighted, as it was the Fog Design+Art Fair Preview Gala. Now in its ninth year, the much-anticipated international fair took place at the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture.

Launched in 2014, the four-day event, dedicated to exploring modern and contemporary design, architecture, and art from around the world, has become one of the city’s most vibrant events. This year’s fair attracted 12,000 visitors, indicating that its pre-pandemic momentum is rebounding.

The Fog Design+Art Fair Preview Gala is held at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, a former military base on San Francisco Bay.

Over 2,000 viewers arrived for the opening Preview Gala, and 12,000 attended over four days.


The Preview Gala benefits The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Designed by global architects Snøhetta and Mario Botta, SFMOMA is among the US’s largest modern and contemporary art museums.

Let’s welcome the new SFMOMA director, as of June 2022, Christopher Bedford, who took the helm after director Neal Benezra stepped down after 19 years. Previously, Christopher was director of the Baltimore Museum since 2016.

Matt Paige, Katie Schwab Paige, and SFMOMA director Christopher Bedford.

The FOG Fair is overseen by a steering committee dedicated to expanding the city’s cultural leadership. Most committee members have been on board since the fair’s inception in 2014.

This year’s Steering Committee included (left to right) Stanlee Gatti, Katie Paige, Susan Swig, Douglas Durkin, and Sarah Wendell Sherill (not pictured).

Honorary FOG Co-Chairs Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg are on the annual ARTnews 200 Top Collectors list and are members of the Silicon Valley crowd.


The FOG Design+Art Preview Gala offers art and design patrons, VIP guests, and sponsors an exclusive browsing and buying opportunity before the doors open to the general public.

This year, the 2021 requirements for masks and proof of vaccination were dropped. The Preview Gala crowd of more than 2,000 included artists, collectors, curators, dealers, designers, and art devotees who were excited to be back at this highlight of the new year’s social season, signaling that life after COVID is returning to normal.

Among the more than 2,000 Preview Gala guests were dealers, curators, collectors, and leaders from the art, design, business, and tech communities.


The 2023 Fog fair brought together a roster of 48 preeminent galleries from such major cities as Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Milan, Monte Carlo, New York, and San Francisco. (Find the complete list at the end of this column.)

“The buzz of sales and interest we received in the fair’s opening hours are signals of great things to come,” said San Francisco gallerist Jessica Silverman.

Jessica Silverman, founder of the eponymous San Francisco art gallery.

Rosie Williams, Fine Arts Museum San Francisco Major Gifts Officer, with artist Jenny Sharaf, in front of Sharaf’s installation.

New York-based Salon 94 Design featured photographs by Kwame Brathwaite and paintings by Australian Indigenous artists Yukultji Napangati and Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri.

London-based Sarah Myerscough Gallery.

John Berggruen, founder of San Francisco’s Berggruen Gallery, is known for his witty sense of humor.

Artist Paula Williams, founder of the art project “SHAMEBOOTH,” in which participants are invited to record the things they’re ashamed of in a phone booth.

San Francisco-based Micki Meng Gallery (formerly Friends Indeed Gallery).

Dewey Crumpler, artist and former professor at Fine Arts Institute, which, on a sad note, I learned this night had closed after 151 years.

Oliver and Karen Caldwell of Caldwell Snyder Gallery, with galleries in the most beautiful locations: San Francisco, Napa Valley, and Montecito.

Gladstone Gallery, based in New York and Brussels.

Guests previewed modern and contemporary art, and design works from 48 leading international galleries.


FOG is known as a fun, lively art show. It is a prime people-watching event, attracting an artsy, party-going group of all ages dressed for the theme in creative garb.

For years, the art world and other cultural leaders have worked to encourage prominent Silicon Valley individuals and venture capitalist millionaires to become engaged as art collectors and philanthropists. The presence of so many leading members of the tech community at the gala was encouraging.

This year’s gala seemed more relaxed than usual. Instead of the customary brief hello-kiss-move-on exchanges, people seemed to engage in deeper conversations, enjoying the chance to reconnect with friends after prolonged pandemic isolation.

Art patrons Randi Fisher and Bob Fisher, president of the SFMOMA Board.

The crowd gathered around Nancy and Paul Pelosi to wish the latter well after the shocking attack in their home late last year.

Jennifer Chen and Jay Xu, Director of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.

Monetta White, Director of Museum of the African Diaspora, with Komal Shah, an SFMOMA board trustee.

Mauro Aprile Zanetti, Maria Manetti Shrem, co-founder of the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum at UC Davis, Eva Zanetti, and Rachel Teagle, founding director of the Manetti Shrem Museum.

Dede Wilsey, Trevor Traina, and Alexis Traina.

Sako Fisher and Amanda Michael.

Gallerist Sabrina Buell, Yves Béhar, founder of Fuseproject design firm, and daughter Sylver Behar.

Stephanie Lawrence, Francis Goelet, and Jeanne Lawrence.

Rudolf Frieling, SFMOMA Curator of Media Arts, art collector Pam Kramlich, and Meghan Ryan.

Deborah Rappaport, co-founder of Minnesota Street Project, gallerist Wendi Norris, Rachel Sample, and Madison Cario.

Matthew Goldman, Doug Goldman, Lisa Goldman, and Jason Goldman.

Martin Justesen, Zach Glassman, Miguel Lopez, Sonya Yu, Andres Campos, Todd Barket, and Tyson Lee.

Ali Gass, Director of Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco, with art collector Pamela Hornik.

Chip Zecher and Mary Beth Shimmon.

Sadie Barnette, Divina Seemo, Chelsea Wong, Pae White, Julian Hoeber, Katherine Wade, David Huffman, and Janine Scarbrough.

Roselyne Swig and daughter Susan Swig, FOG Steering Committee member.

David Perry and Ana Teresa Fernandez.

Weslley Soares, Bob Rennie, Kwame Brathwai, Denise Bradley Tyson, and Inder Dhillon.

Bo Lasater and Kathryn Lasater, newly appointed Managing Director at Christie’s San Francisco. We last saw each other in NY at Christie’s sale of the Ann & Gordon Getty Collection, which netted over $150 million for charitable causes.

Jonathan Gans and Abigail Turin.

Alka and Ravin Agrawal.

Steven Volpe, Seth Matarasso, and Gabby Palmieri.

Stefanie Roumeliotes, David Nash, Krista Giovara, and Lisa Zabelle.

Jackie Greenberg, Zoe Fisher, and Trang Tran.

Margaret Coad and Julian McGowan.

Roberta Sherman, Seattle Museum board member, with designer Jeffrey Weissman, who flew in from San Miguel de Allende, and Jeanne Lawrence, in from New York.

Dion King, Ann Hatch, and Ana Saygi.

Courtney Dallaire and Brad Oberwager.

Carmen Legarda and Michael Hormel.

Elena Demdiberia.

Sean Green, Rimma Boshernitsan, Anwarii Musa, and Erik Moore.

Mary Phelps, Laura Paulson, and Sydney Blumenkranz.

Lydia Shorenstein and Esta Swig.

John Rosekrans, Kathy Geissler Best, Carla Crane, and David Crane.


Sadly missing in the crowd this year was the cultural philanthropists and art patron couple, Norah and Norman Stone, who passed away in 2019 and 2021, respectively. The Stones were a mainstay in the San Francisco art scene and attended FOG religiously. They were SFMOMA board members and deeply involved with NY’s Whitney and London’s Tate.

The couple’s signature style expressed their joie de vivre, and they enjoyed wearing colorful, extravagant, and outlandish outfits to galas, museum openings, and benefits. I once asked where they store their extensive wardrobe, and Norman responded, “We just take over another bedroom.”

Named one of the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors, the Stones were patrons of the arts to the very end. Their estate donated nearly 350 modern and contemporary artworks in every medium and gifted $10 million in an unrestricted endowment. Among their collection were such luminaries as Diane Arbus, Marcel Duchamp, Jeff Koons, Bruce Nauman, Francis Picabia, Sigmar Polke, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, Carrie Mae Weems, Ai Wei Wei, and many others.

Norah and Norman Stone at the inaugural 2014 FOG Fair.

The Stones at the FOG Fair Preview Gala in 2018.


Opening nights are about browsing the exhibits, mingling, and noshing. But many at the gala returned the next day to focus more closely on the art and interact with the gallery hosts.

On those days, attendees partook in informative FOG Talks. These included artist conversations and panel discussions with cultural luminaries and leaders.

FOG Talk highlights included “The Radical, Queer Beauty of Machine Dazzle,” in conversation with Tony Bravo, Arts and Culture Columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.

If you happen to be in New York City, a solo exhibition of Machine Dazzle’s work is on view at the Museum of Art & Design through February 19, 2023.


The FOG Design+Art Fair improves each year, and the 2023 event exceeded all expectations. Make a note on your January 2024 calendar to get tickets to this not-to-be-missed event.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – January 18 – Atmosphere at FOG Art and Design Fair 2023 on January 18th 2023 at Fort Mason Festival Pavillion in San Francisco, CA (Photo – Ando Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography)


For those interested, here is a list of the participating galleries from around the world:

  • Altman Siegel, San Francisco
  • Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York / Casemore Gallery, San Francisco
  • Anthony Meier, Mill Valley
  • Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco
  • Crown Point Press, San Francisco
  • David Zwirner, New York
  • Demisch Danant, New York
  • Fergus McCaffrey, New York
  • Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
  • Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris
  • Gallery FUMI, London
  • Gladstone Gallery, New York
  • Haines Gallery, San Francisco
  • Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles
  • Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco
  • Hostler Burrows, New York
  • James Cohan, New York
  • Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco
  • Jessica Silverman, San Francisco
  • KARMA, New York
  • kurimanzutto, Mexico City
  • Lebreton, Monte Carlo
  • Lehmann Maupin, New York
  • Luhring Augustine, New York
  • Magen H Gallery, New York
  • Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles / gió Marconi, Milan
  • Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
  • Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
  • Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York
  • Miki Meng, San Francisco
  • Modern Art, London
  • Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York
  • Night Gallery, Los Angeles
  • Nilufar Gallery, Milan
  • Pace Gallery, New York
  • pt.2 Gallery, Oakland
  • R & Company, New York
  • Ratio 3, San Francisco / Nonaka-Hill, Los Angeles
  • Rebecca Camacho Presents, San Francisco
  • Salon 94 Design, New York
  • Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London
  • Sprüth Magers, New York
  • Talwar Gallery, New York
  • Tina Kim Gallery, New York
  • Volume Gallery, Chicago


Photography by Drew Altizer and Nikki Ritcher.