On the heels of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair comes the Sculptural Objects and Functional Art fair (SOFA), which runs through Sunday at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Despite the acronym, there’s not a sofa in sight, although we spotted a few tables and chairs (heavy on the George Nakashima) at last night’s gala opening. With 67 galleries from 11 countries exhibiting, the 11th incarnation of SOFA aims to bridge design, decorative, and fine art with an eclectic mix of works ranging from crafty glass jewelry (Murano fans, rejoice!) and jaw-dropping feats of beadwork to Japanese ceramics that look like they fell to earth from a distant planet and a stoneware and brass statue of a dapper wolf dressed to impress in a suit and tie.
After admiring the goods at the Barry Friedman Ltd. booth (where a biomorphic Wendell Castle creation is stationed as if to greet passersby), we were blown away by Korean artist Shin Sang Ho‘s “Fired Painting” (2006), vertically striped panels of glazed ceramic hanging in the Loveed Fine Arts booth. Also worth a close look are the Franz Hals-meets-Jasper Johns-style paintings of artist Bruce Thurman, who also happens to be a licensed architect, he told us last night. Meanwhile, Copenhagen’s Koppe Gallery is showing works by Bodil Manz, including delightful porcelain vessels that look like coffee cans devised by a young Piet Mondrian.