Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sofa NY 2007

Lola Brooks
Brooch: Untitled
stainless steel, 18K gold
photo courtesy of Sienna Gallery

Every spring in New York and every fall in Chicago, the Sofa Expo takes place, which is not about sofas, but rather stands for Sculpture Objects & Functional Art. On June 1-3 in New York, 58 galleries will be representing artists that work in craft mediums: metal, wood, fiber, glass, clay. However, this show differs from the more common craft fairs in that the work shown is one-of-a kind and curated by the gallery owners to present a certain vision of what is current and new in the field.

Representing jewelry and related metalwork exclusively are: Charon Kranson, Aaron Faber, Ornamentum, Jewelers' Werk Galerie, The David Collection, Sienna Gallery, and Clare Beck at Adrian Sasson and Yaw Gallery. Also representing jewelry and metalwork, among other mediums are: Mobilia Gallery and Gallery Gainro.

One of the highlights for me last year were the vessels by Junko Mori at Adrian Sassoon/ Clare Beck. Composed of square forged fine silver and steel, they have the apperance of sea anemones, but the weight of the material and the hard edge of the metal, made them anything but soft and floating. On her website, she mentions being inspired by Thai red chiles. I had a hard time not touching those pieces.

I am looking forward to seeing the work at Sienna as well. Pictured above is a piece by Lola Brooks. She has been working with these faceted stainless steel shapes for a number of years, but on the Sienna website I noticed new work that incorporates her earlier stainless curls with antique ivory roses. I hope the new work will be on view at Sofa.

Melanie BIlenker
Gold, sterling silver, boxwood, epoxy resin, pigment, hair
(Photo: K. Yanoviak)

Sienna also shows Melanie Bilenker (above) and her drawings with hair under resin. I saw her show in person at the gallery and they were very subtle and poetic images of daily life. In addition, I will be looking for the latest work by Barbara Seidenath and Bettina Speckner.

Aaron Faber will be showing works in conjunction with their "Memories of New York" show at the gallery. In addition to his complex works with watch hands and loops of high-tech wire, Sergey Jivetin has a ring that is inspired by our famous bridges in NY. I had the opportunity to meet him and handle the wire pieces last year. The wire has amazing qualities that allow it to retain it's shape and tension, even as it makes way for your finger.

After looking at Mobilia Gallery's website, I noticed that Mariko Kusumoto has begun a new series of works, which are interactive, like small puppet theatres. This is a departure from her previous Buddhist temple inspired works. I also noticed from looking at the Mobilia site that Jennifer Trask seems to be heading in a new direction, and I will be interested in what she has on view.

Once again, it's June 1-3 at the Park Avenue Armory/ Park and 67th St.

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