NEW YORK, April 25, 2011. The 14th annual Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair at the Park Avenue Armory enjoyed steady crowds and sales, from the well-attended vernissage on April 13 straight through its four-day run, which ended on Sunday, April 17. An estimated 2000 persons attended Opening Night throughout the course of the evening, and an after-preview benefit dinner in the Armory’s Tiffany Room for the Museum of Arts & Design (MAD) honoring Judy Cornfield was a sell-out. MAD also sponsored the new MAD Den Video Lounge designed by NY architect/designer David Ling, adding yet another media to the stimulating mix of art and design at the fair.


A healthy crowd of collectors, curators, architects, interior designers, art advisors and new enthusiasts took in SOFA NEW YORK, presented by 57 galleries from 12 countries, and produced by The Art Fair Company. President and founding director of SOFA fairs in New York, Chicago and Santa Fe, Mark Lyman said, „It was a good show. As in any art fair, there were extraordinary sales for some, more moderate ones for others, but most seemed pleased with the outcome. Weekend attendance was strong and dealers reported well-qualified collectors, designers and curators on the show floor, as well as younger buyers, many attending SOFA for the first time at the New Collectors/ Young Designers evening.”

  Lyman continued, „150 designers attended the Designer Breakfast, where we were honored to have Jack Lenor Larsen present the LongHouse Reserve Special Recognition Awards for best booth and best artwork at the fair.” Larsen, an internationally known designer, author, and collector, gave SOFA NEW YORK high marks: „This show is the best show of this work that I have seen in 65 years.  I have never seen a show where there is so much I would like to acquire. (It) is increasingly international, and I admire the dealers for continuing to bring new works and new challenges to the viewers.”  


 Jack Lenor Larsen at the SOFA NEW YORK 2011 Designer Breakfast

400 high-level gallery clients participated in the ultra-exclusive VIP program and 470 collectors and arts-interested public alike attended the Lecture Series.  Douglas Heller of Heller Gallery, New York said, „Opening night was filled with collectors.” Tom Grotta of browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT agreed, „Unlike many other fairs, we sell particularly to collectors and designers at SOFA.” Many dealers reported securing commissions for work. Designers Geoffrey Bradsfield and Christopher Boshears commissioned porcelain sculpture by Chris Antemann at Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA from the gallery’s stand-out special installation inspired by 18th c porcelain rooms. Adrian Sassoon of Clare Beck at Adrian Sassoon, London added, „There have been lots of museum people here,” including curators from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Guggenheim Leading the way in Asian Art sales was Manhattan’s venerable Joan B. Mirviss Ltd., who sold all but one piece in her focus show of ceramic sculpture by Akiyama Yô ($12,000- 35,000), along with many works from a group show. Mirviss said, „There have been lots of new people from all over the US visiting the booth, and that’s why we’re here-to make new connections.  The buzz in the Armory was incredible.  Buyers are here to acquire.” Jane Sauer of Jane Sauer Gallery, Santa Fe agreed, „Over half my sales were to new clients,” adding that it was her best SOFA in six years of exhibiting at the fair. Sales included four commissions from designers for home and commercial spaces.


New dealers to SOFA NEW YORK reported good results. Mounting perhaps the most visually resplendent booth, Litvak Gallery, Tel Aviv reported an excellent fair, selling five major glass sculptures on Opening Night. Sales included works by Vaclav Cigler ($68,500), four by Bertil Vallien ($10,000 – 26,000) and Jules Weiland ($10,500). Felix Flury of Gallery S O, London reported a very good result, with pieces by conceptual jeweler Bernard Schobinger selling well. „The audience seems very prepared, they did their research before coming into the show, which has been a nice surprise.”


First-time exhibitor Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London said they had sold so well they had to completely replenish their handsome booth over the weekend, which was awarded the LongHouse Reserve Special Mention Award for excellence in booth design by Jack Lenor Larson. Ippodo Gallery, New York and David Richard Contemporary, Santa Fe also enjoyed rewarding sales. Richard Barger of the latter said, „There has been a great crowd, Energy is good and there are serious buyers.”


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