The worlds foremost art fair devoted to Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design
, marks its 20th annual presentation with an increase in international exhibitors, highlighting an eclectic array of art from around the globe. 18 international galleries from 11 countries will bring design, glass, ceramics, jewelry, wood, fiber, and metal. Many of the international artists represented will accompany the galleries to Navy Piers Festival Hall, November 1 3. Overall, more than 800 artists, including artists from the U.S. and abroad will participate in the three-day event that kicks off with the Opening Night Preview on Thursday, October 31 from 5 to 9 p.m.
Exhibitors from outside of the United States participating in SOFA CHICAGO for the first time include the United Kingdom-based gallery Cultural Connections CC Gallery, German Pavilion German Arts & Crafts, Italys Officine Saffi and Istanbul-based Armaggan Art & Design. Returning international dealers at SOFA CHICAGO 2013 include Argentinas Maria Elena Kravetz Gallery, Australias Kirra Galleries, Belgiums Thalen & Thalen Sprl, Canadas CREA Gallery-Contemporary Fine Craft and Option Art/ Galerie Elca London, Israeli exhibitors Litvak Gallery and Yvel, Italys Berengo Studio 1989 and Japans Ippodo Gallery. Also exhibiting are four galleries from the United Kingdom Sarah Myerscough Gallery, flow and Craft Scotland, who first came to SOFA CHICAGO in 2012, as well as Joanna Bird Contemporary Collections who last exhibited at SOFA CHICAGO in 2006. Additionally, Korea Craft Design Foundation who exhibited at SOFA CHICAGO in 2010, will return this year. SOFA CHICAGO has always been proud to connect artists, dealers, curators and collectors regionally, nationally and internationally, forming communities and networks that have grown over 20 years, said Fair Director Donna Davies. I am thrilled to say that in 2013, SOFA CHICAGO has one of the strongest representations of international galleries, which is evidence of SOFA CHICAGOs importance as an international art and design fair.
SOFA CHICAGO welcomed a number of new U.K. galleries in 2012 (Sarah Myerscough Gallery, flow and Craft Scotland) and will add to this exhibitor list in 2013. Cultural Connections Gallery CC from Southeast England will share ceramics from Danish and Nordic workshops. Celebrating the ancient, eternal vessel form, the display by Cultural Connections will include a large-scale vase that can be placed indoors or outdoors by Jean-Francois Thierion, a French artist based in Denmark, known for his monumental vessels, cone-shaped vases and circular dishes. Aiming to show a range of techniques by artists working in the 20th and 21st centuries, Cultural Connections will also show a small retrospective by Inger Rokkjaer, who created Raku-fired lidded jars and vessels throughout her career, and whose work often resonates with Danish and Norwegian artists working today. On Saturday, November 2 at 11am, Cultural Connections Director Birthe Noergaard Fraser sets the scene for contemporary Danish ceramics and its recognized place in the international conversation with the SOFA lecture, Danish Ceramics: Trends, Tendencies and the Future.
Returning to SOFA CHICAGO this year is Joanna Bird Contemporary Collections. The London-based gallery will feature ceramics, glass and marble works by artists including Juli Bolaños-Durman, Joanna Constantinidis, Ruth Duckworth, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Nicholas Rena, Pippin Drysdale, Geoffrey Mann, Louis Thompson and striking geometric ceramic pieces by Halima Cassell. Artist Geoffrey Mann will speak about the integration of new technologies into the world of the hand-made object in the SOFA lecture, Objectile: The State In-Between, on Saturday November 2 at 4pm.
SOFA CHICAGOs veteran U.K. galleries include Londons Sarah Myerscough Gallery, who will bring work from technical masters producing innovative design and contemporary craft objects in ceramics and wood. Contemporary furniture on view will include Peter Marigolds dodai bench, made by Hinoki Kogei, the Japanese furniture makers who produce the Japanese Imperial familys furniture, and an ash version of the 3 Drawer George Chest by Gareth Neal, which is currently featured in the Museum of Arts and Design exhibition of cutting-edge wood art, Against the Grain. Neals innovative process combines technical modes of 3D computer drawings and CNC processes, with the intricacy of professional craftsmanship, forming a dialogue about the relationship between technology and traditional techniques. Myerscough will also feature monumental pieces by renowned wood sculptor Michael Peterson and graceful forms created from burls and roots by Christian Burchard, who will give a booth talk about his work entitled Transforming Wood, Friday, November 1 at 2:30 pm.
Craft Scotland, the national agency for Scottish craft, returns to SOFA CHICAGO for the second consecutive year, with art from 16 talented artists working in ceramics, glass, furniture, metal, fiber, silver and jewelry in a broad range of techniques and practices. Demonstrating the breadth and quality of Scottish craft, highlights include glass artist Alison Kinnaird, one of the worlds leading copper wheel engravers, a process which has remained mainly unchanged since Roman times; jeweler Jennifer Gray who uses traditional hand-carving methods along with digital technologies to create statement pieces that can be worn as jewelry and placed on a classical decorative urn and displayed as a sculpture and Lizzie Farey, who creates emotionally resonant pieces from willow and other natural materials, inspired by shapes and forms in nature. We are delighted to be working with SOFA whose team members are keen advocates for Scottish craft and we are very happy in the knowledge that Scotland will be represented. Craft Scotland is a proud ambassador for Scotland when were working internationally, said Fiona Logue, Acting Director of Craft Scotland. The collection of work we are showing in Chicago enjoys many connections with the local environments that the makers are working in, and so well be ensuring that we do all we can to highlight that 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland. Craft Scotland artists Jennifer Gray, Grant McCaig, Susan OByrne and Amanda Simmons along with Stephen Bottomley, Head of Jewellery and Silversmithing, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinbrugh take part in the SOFA lecture series with their panel Scotland: Crafting a Renaissance, Friday, November 1 at 5 pm.
flow, a London gallery that returns for its second consecutive SOFA fair, represents more than 100 artists working in ceramics, glass, paper, wood, textiles and metal. The gallery will offer a selection of European crafts inspired by the complexity and beauty in nature. Artists will include first-time exhibitor Kati Tuominen-Niittylä, who references rural traditions of her native Finland in her whimsical ceramic vessels, Jeanne Opgenhaffen, who creates colored porcelain murals inspired by rock strata, constructed from thousands of tiles overlapped in varying shades and tones and Claire Brewster, whose intricate, hand-cut paper bird installations were audience favorites at SOFA CHICAGO 2012. SOFA CHICAGO is known as a unique meeting place for artists, curators and collectors internationally, said flow gallery owner Yvonna Demczynska. Its long history as a premier fair has brought us vital exposure and connections. We can now count ourselves among the many galleries in the United Kingdom that look forward to visiting SOFA CHICAGO each year.
A leader in Australias contemporary glass movement and a SOFA CHICAGO exhibitor for 10 years, Kirra Galleries will be bringing work by first year SOFA CHICAGO artist Benjamin Sewell whose work combines techniques of overlayed color on glass blown vessel and glass engraving to create works reflecting the landscape. Kirra Galleries will also show the innovative work of Yusuke Takemura, a Japanese artist who uses diamond saws and a breathing apparatus to carve glass into intricate sculptures. A familiar name to SOFA CHICAGO visitors, Crystal Stubbs will also share her current Character Series, an exploration of the relationship between the human form and architectural elements.
Based in Tel-Aviv, Litvak Gallery returns to SOFA Chicago with exceptional glass from a roster of international artists. We are delighted to share new works by Richard Jolley and European artists Peter Bremers, Vaclav Cigler, Stepan Pala and Zora Palova alongside vintage pieces by Libensky & Brychtova, said Litvaks curator Meital Manor. Litvak Gallery will also debut the work of emerging Australian artist Tom Moore, with a site-specific project made especially for SOFA CHICAGO. On Friday, November 1 at 4:30 pm, Litvak Gallery presents a SOFA lecture, Great Patrons = Great Projects, highlighting the work of artist Richard Jolley and the creation of his recent monumental figural glass installation for the Great Hall of the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee. Litvak Gallery will also present a booth talk on Friday with Peter Bremers at 4 pm, at booth 821. Founded in 1986 by Orna & Isaac Levy, Yvel has been cultivating beauty for more than a quarter century through jewelry designs hand-made in Jerusalem. At SOFA CHICAGO, Yvel returns with jewelry from three new collections introduced this year, including the new Satin Sea collection hand crafted from South Sea pearls in 18k satin finish yellow gold, the exotic Rough Elegance collection featuring rough diamonds, and the Pastel Collection, pieces enhanced with 18k rose gold.
Ippodo Gallery, which has locations in Tokyo and New York City, has been a part of SOFA CHICAGO since 2010. Last year, owner Shoko Aono showed her commitment to SOFA CHICAGO after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, traveling by car for 15 hours to reach the fair in time for the opening night. For 2013, Ippodo Gallery will be showcasing new works, including large boxes, by the bronze sculptor Koji Hatakeyama. The artist will be present throughout the show and will present a booth talk at 12:00pm on Friday November 1, discussing his process of interacting with metal in techniques that have been unchanged since ancient times. Using bronzes natural propensity to oxidize to enhance the surface of his objects, Hatakeyamas lidded box forms resemble samurai helmets, and symbolizes the internal and external spaces of human consciousness. Ippodo Gallery will also feature Yuki Hayamas paintings on porcelain and Junko Naritas doll forms, which have been a popular at SOFA CHICAGO in the past.
Father and son team from Belgium, Thalen & Thalen Sprl, will return to SOFA CHICAGO with the best in contemporary silver from their countrys rich tradition of silversmithing. Artist and gallery owner Rob Thalen notes, this year we will show a number of vessels and vases that find their inspiration in rough landscapes, surfaces that link to dried and cracked mud and stones that show traces of thousands of years being struck by the elements. On Friday, November 1 at 11 am, Jaap and Rob Thalen present a lecture, Living with Silver in the 21st Century, making the case for ways contemporary silver can enhance the modern lifestyle.
CREA Gallery - Contemporary Fine Craft promotes the work of established, mid-career and emerging Quebec artists. The gallery acts as an art laboratory, in terms of its experimental programming and cuttingedge exhibits that reflect the current creative trends in Quebec. Due to SOFA CHICAGO and its team, the CREA Gallery has enabled numerous Quebec craft artists and contemporary Quebec fine craft to be seen and appreciated by international collectors. Without such exposure, many great talents would have never had the opportunity to grow within their creative fields, said Director Kimberly Davies. The 10 participating Canadian artists exhibited by CREA Gallery include Marie-Hélène Beaulieu, who creates organic still lifes in glass; Mélanie Denis, who makes innovative jewelry using photographs, newspaper, buttons and broken fish hooks set under glass in sterling silver; Claude Prairie, who reinterprets pure vessel forms in ceramics, Kino Guérin, who creates utilitarian furniture from wood using a vacuum press process and Sophie-Kimberly Séguin-Lalonde, who creates lyrical sculptures in glass. Highlighting Canadian artistic creativity for 25 years, Montreal-based Option Art will present art in many mediums and techniques, including stone carving and lithographs from Inuit artists. This year, the gallery will introduce Pierre Fournier, an artist whose steel and aluminum sculptures are often integrated with architecture projects, to SOFA CHICAGO visitors. Artists Tanya Lyons and Mathieu Grodet will create a collaborative installation of glass bubbles filled with objects that speak of memory and time.
Representing artists in Germanys contemporary arts and crafts community, The German Crafts Association will present an exhibition at SOFA CHICAGO in their German Pavilion German Arts & Crafts. New at SOFA this year, this gallery highlights work by seven German artists in various media, including work by silversmith Antje Dienstbir and elegant, minimal jewelry by Berlins Horst Max Lebert. All German Pavilion artists will be present at SOFA CHICAGO to discuss their various works of art and techniques, including Siegfried Schreiber, who transforms wood into striking archetypes that bring out aesthetic ideals hidden deep within the viewer, creating an intuitive and intense experience for the senses. Schreiber will be speaking all three days at SOFA CHICAGO, beginning with the Booth Talk Sensual Wood Turnings, daily at 2 p.m. in Booth 1307. Jeweler Ursula Hofmann will also speak about her work daily in the booth talk Old is New, at 4 pm, describing her process of using traditional textile techniques, including crochet, hand dyed silk and Venetian seed beads from the 19th and early 20th centuries to create contemporary jewelry designs.
Also new at SOFA this year is Milan-based Officine Saffi who will present an exhibit titled, Whiteness, a monochromatic presentation of curated work by four artists. The gallery, known for presenting work by established and emerging ceramic artists, will show a collection of artwork exemplifying the pureness and simplicity of the color white, including artwork by Arnold Annen, who creates paper-thin bowls made from Limoges porcelain; theatrical vessels by Guido De Zan; unique, porcelain jewelry by Luca Tripaldi; and historic white ceramic vessels spanning the career of Lucie Rie, the famous 20th century potter known for her graceful bowls and vases. Presenting the SOFA CHICAGO lecture, Translucencies, on Saturday, November 2 at 2:30 pm, Arnold Annen sheds light on the creation of his impossibly transparent white porcelain vessels.
Presenting at SOFA CHICAGO since 2002, Venice-based Berengo Studio 1989 features artwork by Europes contemporary studio glass artists. Expanding on Muranese glass traditions and techniques, Berengo Studio introduces SOFA CHICAGO audiences to works that free the glass from the simple function of use and decorative impact, making it a living material for contemporary art. This year, Berengo Studio is excited to present several new works this year by Jaume Plensa, the Spanish-born artist and creator of Millennium Parks interactive public sculpture, Crown Fountain. Plensas new work on view at SOFA CHICAGO will include a glass head in a milky white color, Rui Ruis Frozen Dream. The piece was developed by the artist in Berengos studio, where he also created several works for Glasstress, an exhibition organized by Berengo Studio 1989, currently on view in conjunction with the Venice Biennale.
Korea Craft & Design Foundation (KCDF) highlights the heritage of Korean traditional craft by supporting passionate young artists who build on historic traditions in ceramics, glass, textiles, jewelry and metal. Marking their second presentation at SOFA CHICAGO, KCDF will share the extraordinary talents of several leading young artists with a selection of delicate silver jewelry by Eunjoo Park, ceramic vessels with humorous narratives by Myungsun Kim and a glass, steel, and LED sculpture by Jungsuk Kim, to name a few. Introducing U.S. audiences to the work of these contemporary Korean artists is an exciting opportunity for our Foundation, said Korea Craft & Design Foundation Owner Sangkyun Lee.
Maria Elena Kravetz will present a summary of her 10 years of exhibitions at SOFA CHICAGO with a mix of works in glass, textiles and ceramics. For this very special year at SOFA CHICAGO, the gallery is presenting an outstanding group of artists, including glass artists Edgardo De Bortoli from Argentina, Ariane Garnier from Costa Rica, who works in iron and other materials, bronze sculptor Elizabeth Gavotti from Venezuela and porcelain sculptor Rodrigo Lara Zendejas from Mexico, said gallery owner Maria Elena Kravetz. Im also proud of the SOLO exhibition by American sculptor Woodrow Nash, an internationally renowned artist who returns to SOFA CHICAGO bringing a new collection of his amazing ceramic sculptures. Embodying the spirit of African kings, queens, warriors and kinsman, his work has been called an innovative marriage of 15th Century Benin and 18th Century French Nouveau, creating what Nash refers to as African Nouveau.
Armaggan Art & Design Gallery is located in Istanbuls historic peninsula, near the Grand Bazaar, where craftsmanship and design have been celebrated for centuries. Presenting at SOFA CHICAGO for the first time in 2013, the gallery features the work of Turkeys finest contemporary artists and designers, including Aslı Kutluay, Nadia Arditti, Camekan, Meral Değer, Derya Özparlak, Dinçer Güngörür, Ayşegül Kırmızı, Dilek Aydıncıoğlu, Pembe Hilal Tüzüner and Semra Özümerzifon.