Ever Gold’s Andrew McClintock back in school and shopping at Fog Design+Art — San Francisco Chronicle (2018)

Ever Gold [Projects]
Jan 17, 2018 8:52PM

Sam Whiting – January 4, 2018

Andrew McClintock, owner of Ever Gold Gallery, entered the San Francisco Art Institute graduate school for a master’s in museum and exhibition studies. Photo: Amy Osborne, Special To The Chronicle.

When Fog Design+Art opens Thursday, Jan. 11, in Fort Mason, art dealers, curators, advisers, and collectors will be coming to the fair from around the world. One dealer, curator, adviser and collector, Andrew McClintock, will be coming from the pier next door, where he is a student.

McClintock, well-known as the owner of Ever Gold [Projects], has enrolled in graduate school at the San Francisco Art Institute to pursue his master of arts in museum and exhibition studies.“People don’t respect you unless you have a piece of paper, sometimes,” says McClintock, 33, who hit a wall when he interviewed for a curatorial position at an arts institution in San Francisco. So after spending 10 years building a business and a reputation as an impresario for visual art, he is back in the world of final exams and financial aid.

“A lot of the artists I am studying in class, I have already worked with,” he says during a chat in the faculty lounge where he knows more people than in the student lounge. “So it is an interesting process for the mind. I’m in class learning about Marx, then I will step outside and get on my cell phone to sell a piece of art.”

McClintock started school on the September day that the new Art Institute graduate school campus opened at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. The Art Institute took over the historic Herbst Pavilion, which is next to the Festival Pavilion where Fog Design+Art is held.

The two professionally curated public art galleries at the Art Institute will be open during Fog. This should raise the campus profile because Fog attracted 10,000 paying customers in 2017. In a constant orbit of international art fairs, Fog is an exclusive one-city event with a strict curating process, all-day programming and a pop-up installation by Stanlee Gatti.

In each of its four years, attendance had jumped, and last year it was up 50 percent. There to greet them was McClintock, publisher and editor in chief of the San Francisco Arts Quarterly, the fair’s media sponsor.

McClintock had launched the quarterly when he was 25 and had no publishing or editing experience. This was not a barrier because he also opened his gallery, Ever Gold, without ever working in one.

Operating out of a back room at his gallery, first in the Tenderloin and later at the Minnesota Street Project, McClintock expanded the quarterly to include separate issues for New York, Los Angeles, and a bilingual edition in Mexico City.

“For the last year or so, I was turning up the gas so much that I was sure I was going to crash into a wall,” he says, “and I wanted to pursue that feeling and that emotion.”

So he pushed it right through the spring 2017 issue of the quarterly, his 41st. Then he shut it down without making any kind of plea for investors and without telling anyone. The first that some readers will learn of its demise is when they arrive at Fog and find out the quarterly is no longer the media sponsor because it no longer exists. He’d had offers to sell but thought that would send the wrong signal.

“In the art world, there is this beautiful history of tortured publications,” he says, “and it is better to just have it be a thing and have it be archived.”

This would seem to have reduced his workload but when asked how many days a week he puts in, he counts them up in his mind and says, “uhhh, seven.” Then he itemizes this coming week to prove he is not exaggerating. School is on break so that doesn’t figure into it.

On Monday and Tuesday, he will be working the phones and doing client dinners in advance of the two weekend art fairs where he will be shopping — Fog Design+Art and Untitled, San Francisco, an international fair coming from Miami Beach to the Palace of Fine Arts.

Ever Gold Gallery, where McClintock built a reputation as an impresario for visual art. Photo: Amy Osborne, Special To The Chronicle.

On Wednesday, Jan. 10., he will open two shows in two galleries at the Minnesota Street Project — a solo show by Los Angeles artist Petra Cortright, and an examination of the mystical world of tarot cards by Bay Area artists Mieke Marple and Christine Wang.

On Thursday, he is bringing Marple and Wang to Untitled, where they will lead a panel discussion at the VIP Reception. His Saturday event, to bring the VIPs at Untitled to Ever Gold for a lecture by Cortright, was canceled.

A digital painter who has been labeled “the Monet of the 21st Century” by one reviewer, Cortright had been featured twice in San Francisco Arts Quarterly before McClintock introduced himself to her at a party in Los Angeles.

Since he represented himself as an editor and publisher in the art press, Cortright expected him to be “rude and pretentious,” she says. Surprisingly, she found him to be be “just like a normal person, which is so rare in the art world.” Soon enough, he was bringing her art to San Francisco.

“He comes off as this nice guy, but he has the most amazing knowledge of art history and what’s happening in contemporary art right now,” she says.

Petra Cortright’s “smallest soldier pics* on pennies during showfall,” 2017, digital painting on anodized aluminum, is part of Cortright’s solo show at the Ever Gold Gallery. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Ever Gold [Projects], Photo by Jeff McLane.

In 2016, McClintock’s gallery did $1.4 million in sales and hit $2.5 million in 2017.

“Andrew has a keen and fresh curatorial sensibility,” says Lawrence Rinder, director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. “His shows about a wide range of historical topics, from Gutai to the Beat-era artists of San Francisco to cutting-edge contemporary artists suggest the broad scope of Andrew’s interests.”

Rinder wrote McClintock a letter of recommendation to graduate school and predicts “he’ll make a terrific museum curator.”

But he is still fundamentally a city boy in a rental apartment he found through his connections in North Beach, where he grew up.

He is fighting for street parking like everybody else and fighting traffic in his daily commute from art school on the northern waterfront to his gallery on the south side of town, a trip that can now take more than an hour.

On his way out of the Art Institute’s Fort Mason campus on a Friday afternoon, he passes by a wine and cheese reception outside the student gallery. He’s hosted a million of these and has been to a million more. So he blows right by it.

In the parking lot, though, he remembers that he is a student. So he turns around and goes back in.

Sam Whiting is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @SamWhitingSF Instagram: @sfchronicle_art

Andrew McClintock, owner of Ever Gold Gallery, stands for a portrait in the gallery in San Francisco. Photo: Amy Osborne, Special To The Chronicle.

Ever Gold [Projects]