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Monday, April 26, 2010

The SOFA NEW YORK 2010 Wrapup

Considered one of the foremost fairs for masterworks bridging contemporary decorative, fine art and design, the 13th annual Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair at the Park Avenue Armory enjoyed buoyant sales and steady crowds, from the packed vernissage on April 15 straight through its four-day run, which ended on Monday, April 19. An estimated 2,500 persons attended the preview throughout the course of the evening, up from 2,200 last year.
 The SOFA NEW YORK 2010 Opening Night Preview
Approximately 18,500 collectors, curators, architects, interior designers, art advisors and new enthusiasts took in SOFA NEW YORK, presented by 58 international galleries and produced by The Art Fair Company. President and founding director of SOFA fairs in New York, Chicago and Santa Fe, Mark Lyman said, “The mood on the floor was energetic and more upbeat compared to last year. Many dealers reported their top offerings sold quickly at the preview and sales held steady throughout the fair.” Lyman reported opening day ticket sales were up 60% and sales on Saturday up 72%.

The Joan B. Mirviss Ltd. booth at SOFA NEW YORK 2010
Even opening the fair on tax day did not scare off buyers. A stunning case in point—Joan Mirviss of Joan B. Mirviss Ltd., New York sold 23 pieces by the celebrated Japanese ceramicist Koike Shoko within 30 minutes of the show’s opening. “Opening night was very strong,” said Mirviss. “In addition to SOFA’s regular clients, there were many new faces who expressed serious and knowledgeable interest in what we presented. I could have sold my show twice and some pieces 2 or 3 times. It’s the best SOFA I’ve had thus far.”

Guests interact with the large-scale
ceramic works of Felicity Aylieff.
Clare Beck at Adrian Sassoon of London said, “Opening night was the most successful preview we’ve ever had! We saw many collectors we’ve nurtured at past SOFA’s with many of them attending the opening preview, anxious to be on the show floor at the earliest opportunity, a change from prior years. We’ve sold to new clients and done really well.” Major sales at the gallery included two very large-scale thrown and glazed porcelain columns with over-glaze enamel transfers by Felicity Aylieff in the $40,000 range.
The work of Lino Tagliapietra in Heller Gallery's booth
Douglas Heller of Heller Gallery, New York said, “There was a huge crowd of knowledgeable and qualified collectors and a great deal of energy on the show floor. Opening night was a very positive beginning and we’ve done well at the fair.” Heller’s enjoyed key sales of the gallery’s focus show of Venetian glass maestro Lino Tagliapietra’s sculpture, offered in the $50,000 + range. Thea Burger, long-time dealer of modernist ceramic sculptor, Ruth Duckworth, said “Opening night was a success for dealers, artists, and the SOFA organization. An excellent crowd.”

Hans Coper
White Spade on Cylindrical Base, 1965
Galerie Besson, London
Donna Schneier of Donna Schneier Fine Arts, Palm Beach, FL reported a good show, selling an iconic Peter Voulkos stack priced at $56,000, and a major Viola Frey sculpture priced at $40,000—“one of only two of this type Frey made,” according to Schneier. Leslie Ferrin of Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA said, “Collectors made significant decisions quickly. There seemed to be more urgency to acquire top pieces—we had four sales before the show even opened!” Ferrin sold out the porcelain figural sculptures by Chris Antemann she had on offer in the $18,000 range. Matthew Hall of Galerie Besson, London, reported Saturday was their best day. “There were many national collectors on the show floor.” Major sales on Saturday at the gallery included two historically significant ceramic sculptures by mid-century modernist Hans Coper, offered in the five-figure range. Tai Gallery, Santa Fe sold 20 bamboo sculptures and baskets ranging in price from $3200 to $25,000. Rob Coffland of Tai said, “We’ve been very pleased with the show this year, our business has been up more than 30% compared with last year.” Blue Rain Gallery, also of Santa Fe said they had a very good show, with acclaimed Native ceramic artist Tammy Garcia landing a “half-million dollar commission.
The SOFA NEW YORK 2010 Designer Breakfast Panel featured David Ling, Maureen Footer, Suzanne Lovell and moderated by Greg Cerio, editor, MODERN Magazine.
Bill Zimmer of William Zimmer Gallery, Mendocino, CA, also had a good show, saying he was very pleased to see a lot of qualified designers on the floor with clients. Kent Townsend’s furniture at Zimmer Gallery sold well, including a macassar ebony coffee table for $21,000. Designer and architects spotted on the show floor, many with clients, included Richard Meier, Suzanne Lovell, Maureen Footer, Ronald Bricke, Peter Marino, Tim Van Dam and Ron Wagner, Sheila Kotur, Dennis Rolland, Jennifer Watty, Geoffrey Bradfield, Thomas Jayne, David Ling, and Ilene Wetson. Over 75 designers attended Friday’s invitation-only Designer Breakfast and early SOFA access, with short presentations by Greg Cerio, Editor of Modern Magazine, designer/architect David Ling, and interior designers, Maureen Footer and Suzanne Lovell.

Joanna Bird Pottery (London): Chien-Wei Chang silver vessel for $6,500 and four Annie Turner wall sculptures ($2,000 range ea.)

Schantz Galleries (Stockbridge MA): Five cast glass sculptures by Charles Miner in the $20,000 range.

Scott Jacobson Gallery (New York): Two Tommy Simpson cabinets ($6,500 ea.) and two Mary Van Cline sculptures ($18,500 ea).

Sienna Gallery (Lenox, MA): Numerous pieces by jewelry designers Tina Roth (shown), Lola Brooks, Bettina Speckner and Arthur Hash ($5,000-$9,000).

Snyderman-Works Galleries (Philadelphia): Bruce Metcalf necklace for $9,000 and woven tapestry sculpture by Jon Eric Riis (shown) for $9,000.

Lyons Weir (New York): Numerous beaded sculptures by Jan Huling in the $4,000 range.

Mark Lyman concluded, “SOFA NEW YORK is becoming a mainstay on New York’s cultural calendar and we were delighted at the strong collector base and growing numbers of arts-interested public attending the fair.”Pony up for the second annual
SOFA WEST: Santa Fe, July 8 – 11, 2010, Opening Night, July 7, an invitation-only Special Member Preview for Museum of New Mexico Foundation and SOFA VIPs. Enjoy SOFA’s new western fair in the height of Santa Fe’s summer art season with the famed Santa Fe Opera and Folk Art Market in full swing!

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