| Apr 19, 2012 |
15th annual SOFA NY asks "What is art?"
Boh staff
By Staff

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, SOFA New York presents a slew of conversations to intrigue even the most jaded collector. Known for its assortment of beautiful and unexpected offerings for all levels of collectors, the Sculptural Objects and Functional Art show, which runs from April 20-23 at the Park Avenue Armory, draws a crowd of designers and art enthusiasts with its emphasis on "What is art?", highlighted by architect David Ling who has created a celestial mise-en-scene that will feel a world away from the Park Avenue setting. 

The Designer Breakfast, an invitation-only preview for designers and their clients will open the show on Friday morning. The Panel discussion on The Design Continuum: Looking Back to the Future will be moderated by Judith Nasatir, Contributing Editor of Modern Magazine and feature Jamie Drake, Ling and David McFadden, Chief Curator of the Museum of Arts and Design.

If you don't have an invitation to the morning event, don't miss two Booth Talks on Friday at the Ferrin Gallery (booth 114). At 2pm, writer Dominique Browning and ceramist Frances Palmer who will discuss "History and Inspiration" and the COVET project and Palmer's artwork that references the Robert Ellison collection of ceramics in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At 7pm, Shax Riegler, author of DISH: 813 Wonderful Dinner Plates and Features Editor of House Beautiful and artist-designer Molly Hatch will discuss how the dinner plate become decorative art. 

Fifty-five local and international galleries, and museums like East Hampton's Longhouse Reserve and the Museum of Arts and Design, are participating in the show. Some highlights include:

Amaridian in SoHo, which focuses on art from the African continent, will present an assortment of "Nature of the Earth: Botanical Conversations from Below and Above", including porcelain by Katherine Glenday and woodworks by Andrew Early (pictured below). 

Santa Fe's TAI Gallery presents Nagakura Kenichi's finely plaited bamboo sculptures inspired by human and natural forms like fallen leaves. He was the first recipient of the prestigious Cotsen Bamboo Prize in 2000.

J.Lohmann Gallery, a first-time exhibitor, will feature work by Merete Rasmussen, including this stoneware Red Twisted Form. 

Lacoste Gallery from Concord, MA is showcaseing the work of Denmark-native Bodil Manz whose works are in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and National Museums of Sweden. She is renowned for her paper-thin  porcelain so translucent that light passes through both walls. 

Vivian Beer's furniture and objets d'art at Philadelphia's Wexler Gallery test the boundaries of intimacy and performance. Her "sophisticated daydreaming" process selects from a host of images and forms that embody beauty and power.

Exposition hours: Friday and Saturday, April 20-21: 11-7; Sunday, April 22: Noon-6; Monday, April 23: 11-5. Tickets are $25 for a single day of general admission and $40 for a four-day pass. SOFA will be in Santa Fe from August 2-5 and Chicago from November 2-4.

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