Chicago's longest continuously running art fair, Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design, SOFA Chicago, is celebrating its 20th year at Navy Pier's Festival Hall November 1 – 3.
“[Exhibitors] are truly pulling out all the stops for our 20th year of SOFA Chicago, bringing exceptional works of art for this important year of the fair," said fair director Donna Davies of the anniversary.
Attendees of the 2012 SOFA Chicago show
Many exhibitors are planning special presentations and solo exhibitions for this year's fair, including unique and limited edition furniture by the "Father of the Art Furniture Movement" Wendell Castle exhibited by New York-based gallery Barry Friedman Ltd.; small-scale sculptures, tables and monoprints from American metal sculptor Albert Paley brought to Chicago by Rochester, New York's Ruth Lawrence Fine Arts; and new work from iconic glass sculptor William Morris, presented by Philadelphia-based Wexler Gallery.
Wexler Gallery's Infrastructure Chair
New works by Castle, the 80-year-old award-winning sculptor-designer, "expand on the possibilities of voids and volumes," said Barry Friedman Ltd. director Carole Hochman. “Amorphous design elements, fluidly merged into surprisingly functional furniture, show Castle's confident execution and a freedom of expression that has not been seen in his work before.”
In addition to Castle's furniture, the gallery will bring three standout solo exhibitions by glass artists to SOFA including American artist Michael Glancy, Italian artist Laura de Santillana and Czech master glass artists Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova, Frantisek Vizner, Vaclav Cigler and Pavel Hlava.
Piece by Michael Glancy exhibited by Barry Friedman, Ltd.
Panel discussions and lectures include “The Backstory” focusing on the 20-year history of the show; “Creating Exquisite Spaces” with glass sculptor Martin Blank; “Living with Silver in the 21st Century” with master silversmiths Rob and Jaap Thalen; and “Currents in Contemporary Woodturning” with wood artist Betty Scarpino.
Show hours are 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2; and 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 3. One general admission ticket of $15 admits visitors to the fair, related lecture series, special exhibits and events. $25 three-day passes and discounted student, senior and group tickets are also available. The public is also invited to the Opening Night Preview on Thursday, Oct. 31 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Preview tickets are $50.