The 18th annual Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair: SOFA CHICAGO 2011
and its companion fair, The Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art, enjoyed a very successful run Nov. 4 - 6 at Navy Pier. Produced by The Art Fair Company, more than 80 international SOFA and Intuit dealers from 13 countries wowed an estimated 30,000 fairgoers over the weekend. Over 2,600 persons attended Thursday's Opening Night during the course of the evening, and SOFA sponsor Chubb Personal Insurance feted 350 guests at a private reception in the Chubb VIP Lounge. Decorated by noted architect/designer Suzanne Lovell, the Chubb Lounge was a welcome retreat from the busy show floor for over 500 VIP cardholders. 9 Special Exhibits greeted fairgoers and 1,500 persons attended 30 Lecture Series presentations featuring world-renowned curators, collectors, critics, artists, and dealers.
SOFA Show Director Donna Davies said the fair was a resounding success: "We're very pleased. Dealers reported an energetic, buying crowd and high price-point sales. Some were ecstatic and said this was their best SOFA ever. They also reported more curators and young collectors on the show floor. It was a great fair!"
Chicago's own Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art teamed up with The Art Fair Company to present The Intuit Show alongside SOFA CHICAGO for the second straight year. Cleo Wilson, Intuit's Executive Director, said, "From visitors to SOFA and the Intuit Show, dealers and collectors, we have heard nothing but praise. This is an incredibly perfect marriage of two complementary art shows."
Energetic, Buying Crowd
James Baker, Lino Tagliapietra, Jim Schantz, and Kim Schantz Schantz Galleries (Stockbridge, MA) showcased new works by famed Venetian maestro of intaglio glass sculpture, Lino Tagliapietra. Director Jim Schantz said, "This has been a very positive show. We have a $300,000 panel by Lino Tagliapietra out on approval at a major museum for their collection. All our clients at the fair have been from out of state, in Chicago for SOFA. Traffic on the show floor has been very busy and steady, with consistent high energy. In fact, it's been so busy we have not been able to take a lunch break the whole show!" Schantz sold a number of Tagliapietra masterworks on Opening Night and throughout the weekend (all offered in the $70,000 range!).
Muly Litvak of Litvak Gallery (Tel Aviv) said "Optimism is back. Our clients are collecting again seriously, and we are seeing this at the fair as well at our gallery in Israel, where we hosted Chihuly's first major exhibition since his Jerusalem project in 2000." Among Litvak sales were two sculptures by Vaclav Cigler, Czech master of optical glass, as well as pieces by Lukas Mjartan and Bohimul Elias (all selling in the $35,000 - $50,000 range).