NEW YORK.- Superlative contemporary and modern decorative arts, design and jewelry by internationally recognized museum class artists will be showcased by 55 international dealers from 12 countries at SOFA NEW YORK 2009, which runs through April 19 at the Park Avenue Armory. An overwhelming number of the examples epitomize not only the extraordinary artistry of material-based artworks but also recession proof values in todays art market. Here are just some of the unrivalled highlights from the fair:
WILLIAM ZIMMER GALLERY, MENDOCINO, CA - In blurring the boundaries of sculpture and design, Tom Hucker with the Mendocino, California based William Zimmer Gallery is considered a leader in the American studio furniture movement. To his artistry, Tom Hucker brings a rare mastery of two distinct disciplines: Asian aesthetics with intensive study at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and the Urasenke School of Tea Ceremony in Boston along with solid technical training at the Domus Academy in Italy, under a fifth generation German cabinetmaker.
Curators, collectors, designers and architects alike praise Huckers innovative works for his streamlined sense of design and lyrical sense of rhythm. His work is in major museums like the Art Institute of Chicago, says dealer William Zimmer. Huckers work sold within minutes at SOFA CHICAGO this past November, proving the popularity of his artistry with both seasoned and novice collectors, says Mark Lyman, Founder/Director of SOFA fairs in New York, Chicago and new in June 2009, Santa Fe, and Vice President, dmg world media Art & Antiques. At that time, CBS Marketwatch reporting on the fair, accurately and aptly designated SOFA a sweet spot in the market, says Lyman.
CLARE BECK AT ADRIAN SASSOON, LONDON - Millionaire collectors who turn to superstar architects and interior designers Peter Marino, Brian McCarthy and Sally Sirkin Lewis as well as young art collectors all share one particular art object in common: the gold and silver vessels by the Japanese born, London based Hiroshi Suzuki. Theyre hardly alone as close to 30 museums stretching throughout Britain and across to France, Australia and Korea own his work as well. Theyre attracted to Suzukis unsurpassed artistry as he demonstrates an entire new versatility in precious medals, says Clare Beck who works with London dealer Adrian Sassoon, former curator of the Getty Museum.
In a nutshell, Suzukis intricate vessels hand hammered from a paper thin, single sheet of silver are a contemporary response to a traditional material, treasured by kings and queens for centuries. While his work has gone up 100 percent in a scant five years, at the same time his vessels remain surprisingly undervalued, says Beck while adding that Britains foremost collector, the Duke of Devonshire plucked up a Suzuki recently for his vast art collection. In addition, on their stand is the work of another leading London silversmith, Junko Mori, who is also receiving major league acclaim and will be at SOFA speaking in the Lecture Series, included with admission.
HABATAT GALLERIES, CHICAGO, IL - Even as an undergraduate, Shayna Leibs dazzling glass art was racking up awards as she snapped up an Emerging Artist award from the Museum of Arts and Design, says Michael John Hofer, Habatat, Chicago gallery manager. But still her artistry remains significantly undervalued, he says, as compared to contemporary art, her work is a bargain with prices beginning at only $12,000.
A number of high profile corporate CEOs, private investors and interior designers own her glass sculpture. Above all, they are attracted to Leibs dynamic exploration of materiality. To complete just one square inch of her wall pieces requires more than a grueling two hours of pulling intricate glass canes for firings, says Hofer. If you dont collect her work very soon, it will become untouchable in terms of prices as Shayna branches into the fine arts like few other glass artists. Shes amazing, he says. Just how many other artists have technical skills honed while earning a Masters of Fine Arts, Summa Cum Laude?