The 32nd San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show: February 8-11 at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture

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Widely considered the grande dame of tribal fairs, the historic San Francisco Tribal and Textile Art Show will feature the best galleries and dealers from the United States and around the globe.

Germantown Navajo Weavings: First Modern Art - 1870-1900

Whether experimenting with the emerging dialogue between tribal and contemporary art or tradition material, San Francisco Tribal and Textile Art Show will have objects sure to delight, enlighten, and even educate all visitors.

Launched at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center in 1995, the San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show was one of the first, and remains a preeminent, international art fair devoted exclusively to top-tier works from tribal Africa, Asia, Australia, Oceania, and the Americas. The 2018 edition of the show returns to Fort Mason February 8 to 11.

Widely considered the grande dame of tribal fairs, the show will feature the best galleries and dealers from the United States and around the globe. The de Young is the fair's museum partner and Australia is the feature country this year; the fair honors 100 years of friendship between the two countries as part of Australia's Mateship celebration and the 50th anniversary of sister-cities status between Syndey and San Francisco. “I am delighted that this year the Australian Government will be a major supporter of this culturally important exhibition,” said Chris Oldfield, Australia’s Consul General.

Works range from the finest textiles and rugs from North Africa, Asia, North America, and India to remarkable stone and woodcarvings from Indonesia, Africa, and Oceania. Works also span millennia, with carvings and pottery from prehistoric South America as well as the exquisite Wounaan contemporary basketry handmade in Panama today by the indigenous Wounaan tribe, employing ancient weaving traditions passed through generations of indigenous peoples in the Darién rainforest.

Unique Exhibits Feature Important National and International Artworks:

  • Defending the Oceans: Ghostnets: a selection of recycled fishing net sculptures never before shown on the West Coast
  • Boomerangs: The Mark & Carolyn Blackburn Collection
  • Germantown Navajo Weavings: The First Modern Art - 1870 to 1900: a selection of rare and rarely seen Germantown Navajo weavings currated by Kim Martindale
  • Artful Weavings: a group of fine antique and vintage rugs and textiles from exhibitor Peter Pap
  • Power & Colour: An Introduction to Aboriginal Art: a selection of traditional Australian line paintings

This year’s Tribal & Textile Art Show comes at an exciting time, when the fine arts environment has embraced the natural connection between tribal, modern, and contemporary. Some of the exhibitors are already exploring the dialogue between contemporary and tribal art in their galleries, with great fanfare. At the 2017 Brussels Antiques & Fine Art Fair, Galerie Didier Claes showed two large-scale contemporary abstract canvases by the Belgian painter Sophie Cauvin alongside African objects. Chris Boylan, from Sydney, Australia, describes his specialty, Oceanic art, as “that connection with the spirits and ritual that the modern world has lost; yet it is the root of all our contemporary art.”

The Los Angeles–based Ernie Wolfe Gallery juxtaposes the works of modern American (often Southern California–based) artists with those of contemporary African painters and sculptors, as well as with traditional tribal sculpture and furniture. Photographs by Ethan Rider not only capture tribal objects in a contemporary vernacular, but his objects often appear at first glance to be contemporary canvases. Even jewelry artist Jewels Hawes, who resides part-time in Africa, describes her work as “ancient, antique, and tribal beads and amulets ... creating an eccentric contemporary style.”

Show co-producer Kim Martindale said, “Whether experimenting with the emerging dialogue between tribal and contemporary art or tradition material, our exhibitors will have objects sure to delight, enlighten, and even educate all our visitors.”

The San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show opens Thursday, February 8, with a preview opening from 6 to 9pm. Regular show hours will be Friday, February 9, 11am– 7pm; Saturday, February 10, 11am–7pm; and Sunday, February 11, 11am–5pm. Admission is $15 per person daily or $25 for run-of-show.

The show takes place in the Festival Pavilion of the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (FMCAC), adjacent to the yacht basin along the northern waterfront of the San Francisco Bay. Fort Mason, home to the Pulitzer Prize–winning Magic Theatre, City College’s Fort Mason Art Campus, BATS Improv, the SFMOMA Artists Gallery, the internationally acclaimed Greens Restaurant, and ample parking, has proven the perfect venue for connoisseurs, collectors, and families to combine a stunning cultural experience with a delightful outing.

Join us for a week of activities at San Francisco Tribal Art Week. The event kicks off with the San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show and concludes with the American Indian Art Show Marin at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael, California, February 17- 18, 2018. The San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show is produced by Objects of Art Shows, the West’s premier fine art and antiques events producers, led by Kim Martindale and John Morris, who have been presenting important art events in the West since 1996.

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Clare Hertel
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