Aperture Magazine

The magazine of photography and ideas

Recap of Aperture’s Patron Weekend in San Francisco

An homage to the city that launched the first issue of Aperture magazine in 1952.

 - March 3, 2017

“Everything worth photographing is in California.”—Edward Weston

The weekend of January 26 through 29, a group of twenty-four Aperture Foundation trustees and patrons enjoyed a weekend in San Francisco, to both check out the contemporary photography scene and pay homage to the city that launched the first issue of Aperture magazine in 1952.

The weekend kicked off with a preview of PHOTOFAIRS, a new art fair dedicated to presenting fine-art photography from international galleries and artists making work around the world. To mark Aperture magazine’s latest issue, “American Destiny,” the Aperture booth at PHOTOFAIRS featured an exhibition of limited-edition prints and commissioned work inspired by America’s social and economic landscape.

On first day, the group was welcomed at SFMOMA by Clément Chéroux, Corey Keller, and Erin O’Toole, who gave an overview of the museum’s Pritzker Center for Photography, the Collection Study Center, Photo Interpretive Gallery, and an in-depth tour of Japanese Photography from Postwar to Now. The Diane Arbus: In the Beginning exhibition was also on view and the group enjoyed comparing and contrasting the installation of Arbus’s work in San Francisco and the presentation at the Met Breuer in fall of 2016. Following the tour, a curated menu spotlighting local chefs at new restaurants was enjoyed at In Situ. The group continued down Market Street toward the Bay for a visit at Pier 24. Pier 24’s director, Chris McCall, led a walkthrough of the exhibition Collected, featuring selections from ten local, dedicated collectors of photography. Following Pier 24, John Chiara welcomed Aperture at his studio and loft space, presenting one-of-a-kind prints from his Manhattan and Hudson River Valley series. Chiara talked about the forthcoming publication he is working on with Aperture, California, capturing the light and landscape along the West Coast.

On day three, Fraenkel Gallery director Frish Brandt presented an impressive selection of masterworks, including Diane Arbus, Sophie Calle, Richard Misrach, Edward Weston, and Garry Winogrand. Todd Hido invited Aperture inside his home and studio in the East Bay, where he told stories about exploring suburban America, and the inspiration for his landscape work. Entrepreneurs and collectors Deborah and Andy Rappaport introduced Aperture to Minnesota Street Project and the Artist Studio Program, “affordable and economically sustainable spaces for art galleries, artists and related nonprofits.”

At the Project, artists Sean McFarland and Klea McKenna invited Aperture into their studios and Erica Deeman presented an exhibition of striking portraits that address visual expectations and historical portrayals. The last stop of the day was a visit to Paul Sack’s vast collection of photography, spanning the history of the medium from its beginnings to about 1975. Stemming from Sack’s career as a real estate investor, every image in his collection includes an ownable or leasable building.

On the last day of the trip, the de Young Museum’s chief curator of photography, Julian Cox led a tour of Danny Lyon: Message to the Future, an impressive and timely exhibition with over 175 photographs, related films, and ephemeral materials documenting social and political issues.

The Aperture trustees and patrons had a tremendous time exploring the photography scene in San Francisco, and linking the history of the medium with the contemporary and tight-knit photography community.

Click here to join Aperture at the Patron Circle level, and enjoy access to trips like this one.