May 19-22 was an action packed long art weekend in San Francisco. With three simultaneous art fairs for the first time ever, many were concerned it would be too much art and not enough interested people.  As it turned out all three fairs were a big hit and if you were around for a day or two it was clear that you at least hit two of the fairs, if not all three.  Hamamjian Modern’s choice of fairs was the San Francisco Fine Art Fair at the Fort Mason Center.

Marcel Wilson of Bionic was the first visual of the fair with his Maypole installation at the entrance.  It was a dynamic backdrop for a range of sculpture from Fletcher Benton’s enormous Tilted Donut with Balls and Zigzag to the van painted by noted graffiti artist MQ.

Van painted by MQ

SFFAF was busy every day with a huge crowd at the Thursday evening celebration of year 140 for the San Francisco Art Institute.

AugustusThompson of Fifty24SF Gallery did the 12’ x 40’ mural painting at the entrance to the pavilion (below) that prepared people for a cross section of work from it to the huge painting (opposite mural) by Chilean born Roberto Matta, courtesy of Riva Yares Gallery.

The striking Danielle Steele was spotted by the press very early into the evening of the opening night festivities and Hamamjian Modern was fortunate enough to catch her eye with Gordon Smedt’s work. Only about 20 minutes into the evening this could have been the first sale of the fair. Ms. Steele bought Gordon Smedt’s All Stars that is seen in the background.

Gordon Smedt’s paintings were a stand out of the fair and generated a great deal of attention.

Gordon Smedt, Collective, 2011, oil on canvas, 49" x 54"

No one passed one of Harry Siter’s unique bronze and wooden sculptures without standing back and taking a serious look or a picture.

Harry Siter, Puss & Boots, 2011, bronze and redwood, 93” x 42” x 47”

Harry Siter, Mother and Child, 2011, bronze and redwood, 93” x 42” x 47”

Harry Siter, Tree Trunk Desk, 2011, walnut and bronze, 29” x 33” x 83”

Kara Maria didn’t disappoint anyone with her miniature palette paintings that you could pick up for $100.  Although quite petite these 4 1/2” x 3” acrylic paintings on paper show like gems individually or in groupings.

Palette Painting #7

Palette Painting #41

Paul Hayes did a wonderful paper installation entitled Paperlight Fortress that graced the Collectors Lounge adjacent to my booth.  It was a big attraction and managed to provide a pleasant repose for fair goers.  The lounge was filled with the furniture of MFA alumni from CCA and was a perfect compliment to the Paul Hayes installation.

Stan Welsh’s terra-cotta heads also complimented the Lounge as silent observers.

Stan Welsh, Wince, 2008, terra-cotta clay and glaze, 25” x 15” x 16”

Stan Welsh, Patriot, 2008, terra-cotta and glaze, 26” x 14” x 15”

There were a number of installations and performances that added another dimension to the fair.

Brett Amory of Sandra Lee Gallery painted large portraits on site.

Brynda Glazier, Family Camp, 2010

Harry Siter’s Hanna in the foreground and Luke Damiani’s hanging vessels further back.

I welcome any comments or questions…please direct them to seb@hamamjianmodern.com.  More images for Gordon Smedt, Harry Siter or Kara Maria can be seen at www.hamamjianmodern.com

All my best,                Seb

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