A Trip to SOFA New York

I visited to SOFA Chicago in 2009 and I was impressed by a lot of artists and their works. This was my first time in SOFA New York. I was expecting a different experience, but I did enjoy this trip.

Comparing its scale to SOFA Chicago, SOFA New York is smaller, but also full of well organized and designed exhibition booths. I enjoyed the comfortable interior environment and many details of different showcases. I was also impressed by a series of lectures and galleries talks.

When I entered the show, Sienna Gallery was on the left, an open space with a unique showcase, including a framed painting and deer model hanging jewelry-maker Lola Brooks’ work. This was my first time seeing her pieces. I don’t know the way of showing her work. However, her ingenious skill showed through playful heart-shaped pastiches that delicately combine steel, gold, crystals, semi-precious and precious stones, erotic bows, vintage ivory flowers, and even Pepto-Bismol-pink rhinestones. All these together captured attention. In the gallery, it was so great that I was allowed to touch pieces. I could not stop my hands from touching so many pieces to see their details, back designs and close mysteries. New York’s Charon Kransen Gallery presented a lot of artists’ work from around the world, of which I appreciated their various materials and colorful design. Aaron Faber Gallery of New York unveiled a one-man show of 40 pieces of contemporary studio jewelry by Finland’s Juha Koskela, including Mokume gane and anticlastic raising.

For me the best part of SOFA was lectures, which brought me into a journey of artists’ life. Sponsored by the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), SOFA New York presented two jewelry artists’ lectures, the “Transcendent Jewelry of Margaret De Patta: Vision in Motion and Composition of Dreams” and “Geometry and Nature in the Jewelry of Georg Dobler”. Inspired by Bauhaus ideals and Constructivist design, the first presenter introduced a jewelry artist, Margaret de Patta, who revolutionized jewelry in the post-WW II era with sophisticated designs that exemplified the concept of ‘vision in motion’ Inspired by Bauhaus ideals and Constructivist design, jewelry artist Margaret de Patta, revolutionized jewelry in the post-WW II era with sophisticated designs that exemplified the concept of ‘vision in motion’). Also, renowned German jeweler Georg Dobler discussed the disparate poles of geometric and organic forms in his work—where naturalism and abstraction meet. It was really nice to look over his work at Gallery Loupe after his lecture, giving more insight.

SOFA New York was a really good experience for me, offering an overview of contemporary fine craft worldwide.

 

References:

2012 SOFA New York Jewelry Release

Images by press room, SOFA New York

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Alison Bailey, "Soothing Cactus"

Materials: hand dyed and commercial fabric, brass, and embroidery thread
Dimensions: 11” x 11” x 3”

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