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Monday, May 14, 2012


A packed crowd of over 3,500 VIP collectors and guests attended the April 20th Opening Night Preview. "Wow, what an opening," said Mark Lyman, founding director of SOFA and the president of The Art Fair Company, "Our biggest and best group of patrons so far." Visitors and fair dealers were unanimous in their praise of David Ling's dramatic 15th anniversary redesign of the Armory space inspired by The Big Bang theory. Sarah Archer, Chief Curator at the Philadelphia Art Alliance said, "The lighting design is lovely and elegant, with a more open layout. There is a wonderful range of art on offer." Artist Dan Dailey, represented by Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, MA said, "I'm very impressed with the new look of the show. It feels like a curated exhibition." And Lewis Wexler of the Philadelphia-based Wexler Gallery, Philadelphia, said: "The show looks great.'

Hans Coper
Erskine, Hall & Coe 

Sales started out strong on Opening Night and continued through Monday. Matthew Hall of London's new Erskine, Hall & Coe (formerly Galerie Besson) said, "I've been doing the Chicago fair since 2000 and in New York for five years. This was easily my most successful fair ever." Hall sold all but three seminal Hans Coper ceramics from the collection he brought. "It's been amazing!" Sienna Patti (Sienna Gallery, Lenox, MA) reported a near sell-out of Lola Brooks' mixed media jewelry, much of it on Opening Night. flow gallery (London) sold all six Henk Wolvers porcelain vessels on the Preview night; and Sarah Myerscough Fine Art (London) sold four major turned wood sculptures by Philip Moulthrop. Emily Zilber, Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston said, "I loved seeing more new work from the UK at this year's fair."

Sueharu Fukami
Wexler Gallery

Among the reported sales were:
* Major porcelain sculpture with celadon glaze by Sueharu Fukami for $120,000 at 
Floating World Gallery (Chicago) 
* Steffan Dam glass installation at Heller Gallery (New York) for $60,000 
* Iconic Libensky/Brychtova cast glass sculpture at Litvak Gallery (Tel Aviv) for $60,000 
* Richard Jolley blown glass at Scott Jacobson Gallery (New York) for $45,000 
* Vivian Beer's Forth Bench for $28,000 and Philipp Aduatz's Melting Chair for $19,500, both atWexler Gallery (Philadelphia) 
* Jun Kaneko dango for $25,000 (Duane Reed Gallery, St. Louis, MO) 
* Kent Townsend bubinga cabinet (Jane Sauer Gallery, Santa Fe, NM) for $23,000 
* Kurt Weiser painted porcelain vessel for $16,000 (Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA) 
* And bamboo sculpture by Morigami Jin for $12,500 (TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, NM).

Friday morning kicked off with the 5th Annual Designer Breakfast Preview and panel discussion featuring David McFadden, Chief Curator at Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), interior designerJamie Drake, and architect David Ling. Contributing Editor Judith Nasatir of MODERN Magazine moderated. A record crowd of over 250 invited designers and architects packed the café.

Designer Breakfast 

At the Breakfast, Jack Lenor Larsen announced the recipients of the 2nd Annual LongHouse Reserve Special Recognition Awards for Best Booth Design and Best Artwork in Show with fellow jurors Jamie Drake and Emily Zilber. Best Booth Awardees were Floating World Gallery (Chicago),Amaridian (New York), and flow gallery (London). Sue Lawty's Line andDorothy Gill Barnes's Haystack River Basket (both browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT) and Manabu Hasegawa's Dust Before the Wind series (Megumi Ogita Gallery, Tokyo) won for Best Artwork.


On Friday evening, SOFA After Dark, presented in partnership with theGuggenheim Museum and Museum of Arts and Design, was attended by over 300 young designers and collectors from the Guggenheim, MAD, School of the Visual Arts and other top design/museum groups and arts university alumni in the tri-state area including New York University, Fashion Institute of Technology, Bard, Columbia, Parsons, Pilchuck and RISD. Douglas Heller observed, "One of the strengths of this fair is that it's also accessible to young and emerging collectors." Curators from Philadelphia Art Alliance, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian and MAD tweeted their favorite artworks onto a big-screen.

Sarah Myerscough Fine Art 

Tom Grotta (browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT) overheard people remarking on the show floor that "the Lecture Series was the best SOFA has produced to date." Grotta sold five textile wall "paintings" by presenter Sue Lawty. 300 visitors attended talks by emerging and established artists and renowned curators from five countries. Dealers reported lectures helped spur sales following presentations including 6 ceramic sculptures by Shozo Michikawa (Erskine, Hall & Coe, London), and "several important" jewelry pieces by Georg Dobler (Gallery Loupe, Montclair, NJ). Birthe Norgaard Fraser, Director of the UK's Cultural Connections CC Gallery reported selling "16 pieces the first two days of the fair" including "several immediately following my lecture." Over 300 VIPs partook of exclusive VIP programming which included curator-led tours of SOFA and special exhibition private tours at top area museums like the Fashion Institute of Technology, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art.

Lacoste Gallery (Concord, MA) sold numerous works including a major sculpture by Barbro Aberg. Lucy Lacoste said, "The special exhibits and new international galleries really raised the content of the show. We were proud to be here and in such good company."


Donna Davies, Director for SOFA fairs in New York, Chicago and Santa Fe concluded, "We are thrilled with the success of this year's fair. We had impressive dealers, spectacular pieces and an exciting crowd of collectors. Our 15th anniversary of SOFA NEW YORK was an important milestone, one that we wanted to highlight with David Ling's new design and with an outstanding roster of dealers who encompassed both the applied arts and design. We're absolutely delighted with the fresh mix of dealers and work this year."


The 15th Anniversary SOFA NEW YORK 2012 opened on April 20 and ran through April 23 at the Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at East 67th Street, New York City. Fifty-five international galleries presented studio art and design for sale. 
Opening Night (Invitation Only): Thursday, April 19, 5-7 pm Public Preview (by Ticket Purchase): 7-9 pm
Exposition hours: Friday, April 20: 11 am-7 pm 
Saturday, April 21: 11 am-7 pm 
Sunday, April 22: 12 Noon-6 pm 
Monday, April 23: 11 am-5 pm 
Tickets were $25 for a single day of general admission and $40 for a four-day pass. 
For general information, visit:

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