New galleries bring buzz to San Francisco, but no gold rush—yet

by Jori Finkel : theartnewspaper – excerpt

Art scene is expanding into other parts of the city after high rents forced an exodus from downtown

After new spaces opened on the coattails of the dramatically expanded San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) last year—most notably Gagosian opening a branch within a few blocks—the city’s gallery scene continues to grow…

In January, the blue-chip Berggruen Gallery unveiled a three-floor, 10,000-sq. ft space South of Market, next door to Gagosian. The same week, former Matthew Marks director Adrian Rosenfeld opened a new space in the Minnesota Street Project in the scruffy Dogpatch neighborhood, joining Rena Bransten, Anglim Gilbert, and Altman Siegel, which ­relocated there in November.

The downtown exodus has been fueled by sky-high real estate prices. Claudia Altman Siegel, Catharine Clark and Stephen Wirtz all mentioned rent rises as a factor in leaving the 49 Geary building in recent years. Gretchen Berggruen said the gallery’s move, after 46 years on Grant Avenue, was prompted by a desire for more space and “amenities” that collectors expect, like parking. In effect, the city’s gallery scene is once again expanding after a contraction. But is the collector base that underlies it also keeping pace…(more)

The lack of interest in the arts can probably be traced back to the removal of art, music, and humanities from the public school curriculum. People with no education or appreciation of the arts are not likely to invest or become serious collectors. What passes for quality visuals these days is astonishingly bad. Take a look at the ugly buildings going up all over the place if you want to see a good argument for returning art to the classrooms.

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