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SOFA is coming to Navy Pier

Robert Hudson on left with Magdalena Abakanowicz on right. Robert Hudson, painting, 2010, steel, stainless steel, cast iron, porcelain enamel, epoxy paint. Courtesy of Perimeter Gallery, Chicago IL. Magdalena Abakanowicz, LUNE DE MIEL 1, 1986, sisal.
Robert Hudson on left with Magdalena Abakanowicz on right. Robert Hudson, painting, 2010, steel, stainless steel, cast iron, porcelain enamel, epoxy paint. Courtesy of Perimeter Gallery, Chicago IL. Magdalena Abakanowicz, LUNE DE MIEL 1, 1986, sisal.
Courtesy of Tom Grotta (L) and Perimeter Gallery (R)

The 17th annual Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Exposition features the Intuit Show of Outsider Art as a partner exhibit for the first time. The show opens this evening for a preview at Festival Hall from 7-9pm. The Fair runs from Thursday, November 04, 2010 to Sunday, November 7th, 2010. Tickets are available online or by calling the event number at 800-563-7632. SOFA will include a range of special exhibits, lectures and eighty galleries from ten countries. Special programs include highlights on art furniture, jewelry, art advocacy, the vagabond portrait artist, and more. For more about the Intuit Show, see this author’s companion article.

The Art Fair Company President and SOFA Founder, Mark Lyman encourages attendees to “select from the wide array of studio art furniture” in this year’s exhibit , “a unique opportunity to become part of the creative process.” Featured galleries include the Vienna, Austria-based Galerie Suppan Contemporary, representing sleek and sexy sculptural objects of Pillip Aduatz, who will participate in the Friday, November 5th lecture on The Rebirth of Craft at 4pm.

Returning gallery William Zimmer presents whimsical and elegantly carved contemporary furniture works by Brian Newell, as well as works by Vivian Beer and Sylvie Rosenthal. The del Mano Gallery of Los Angeles features works with an emphasis on studio turned and sculpted wood, and will present furniture works by Sam Maloof, a retrospective exhibit of artist William Hundter and sculptures by Joey Richardson. Hunter will be featured in the panel discussion Artist and Collector on Saturday, November 6th at 10am.

Charon Kransen Arts who support the innovative approaches of artists working in a variety of materals will present the jewelry works of Liv Blavarp. Snyderman-Works gallery will represent the whimsical yet restrained jewelry of Bruce Metcalf and the Gold and Silver Portrait fiber series of Margaret Cusak . Maria Elena Kravitz Gallery of Cordoba, Argentina will return this year, representing works from artists living in Argentina, Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, Brazil, Israel, the U.S. and Venezuela. Donna Schneier Fine Arts of Palm Beach, Florida and Claverack, New York will present modern masters in ceramics, glass, fiber, metal and wood.

New galleries to SOFA include New Glass Art & Photography of Berlin, Germany, Heller Gallery of New York, and Zane Bennet Contemporary Art of Santa Fe, New Mexico. New Glass Art & Photography will introduce the works of Jens Gussek, Ulrich Precht and Ursula Huth. Heller Gallery represents Luke Jerram, the unique glass artist whose color blindness influences the qualities of space an perception in his sculpted works. Zane Bennet Contemporary Art presents abstract expressionist Mark di Suervo and conceptual artist Michael Petry. Medellin 174 of Mexico City will feature functional art in stoneware and enameled metal.

Litvak Gallery, of Tel Aviv, Israel will return to SOFA this year, with new works from artist Peter Bremers, from his latest series, Canyons and Deserts, and works from Dale Chihuly’s new Chihuly Silvered series and the works of Vaclav Cigler. New York-based Barry Friedman Ltd. will present the sculpture works of Laura De Santillana, Micheal Glancy and Yoichi Ohira. Gallerie Besson of London will present Dame Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Bernard Dojonghe and Deidre Hawthorne. Bullseye Gallery of Portland Oregon will also return this year, to feature works new works by Catherine Newell and eight other artists.

A special exhibit, co-curated by Leslie Ferrin of Ferrin Gallery and Frank Paluch of Perimeter Gallery will feature contemporary artistic discourse on the Nude in Chicago art. This exhibition of thirty artists who “challenge the canon” includes ceramic, photography and drawing. Ferrin Gallery of Pittsfield Massachusets will feature the works of Shannon Trudell, who creates dialogues with classical sculpture. Perimeter Gallery of Chicago will present the mixed media works of Joseph Schuldner and Vanessa Smith’s ceramic sculptures.

SOFA special exhibits include the presentation by browngrotta arts of Wilton Connecticut of the Anne and Jacques Baruch Collection. Known for their advocacy of arts by Polish and Czech fiber artists, this exhibit features twelve fiber works from the Baruch’s collection. The work of Magdalena Abakanowicz, creator of the Agora installation in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois is included in the collection and exhibit.

The SOFA lecture series will include a panel discussion in conjunction with the Advocates for Art: Polish and Czech Fiber Artists from the the Anne and Jacques Baruch Collection. Panelists include Fern Grauer, president of the Textile Society of the Art Institute of Chicago and board member of Friends of Fiber Art International; Christa C. Mayer Thurman, Emerita, the Art Institute of Chicago and former chair and curator of the Department of Textiles; Barbara Kalwajtys, curator of the Baruch Foundation; and Rhonda Brown, co-curator of browngrotta arts. This lecture takes place on Friday, November 5th, 2010 from 2-3pm in room 324.

Additional lectures at SOFA include Vagabonds, Drifters, Nomads: A Look at the Itinerant American Artist Tradition in Portraiture. This lecture presented by Elizabeth Whiting and Scott Sekkema will examine the art of Ammi Phillips and discuss the aesthetics and circumstances of the vagabond artist. This lecture occurs Friday, November 5th from 2-3pm in room 324.

This year’s exhibit is again sponsored by Chubb Personal Insurance. A special lecture, Smash and Crash: How to Avoid Catastrophes in Shipping, Handling, and Insuring Artworks will take place on Friday, November 5th, from 1-2pm.

Special events and exhibits are sponsored by international arts organizations including: Association of Israel’s Decorative Arts, Korea, Crafts Council of Ireland, and in past years the World Ceramic Exposition Foundation (WOCEF). A live hot glass blowing demonstration will be presented by the Corning Museum of Glass’s Hot Glass Roadshow. Additionally, artist book signings are scheduled and more events will be posted on the main website and onsite schedules as information becomes available.

For more information: www.sofaexpo.com

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