Top Galleries and Major Works of Art to Explore at SOFA CHICAGO 2016

May 18, 2017 9:58PM

Must-See Artwork from Premier Galleries from around the Globe

SOFA Chicago presents over 70 of the world's leading galleries exhibiting the very best in sculpture and applied arts.

CHICAGO (October 11, 2016) - - The world’s preeminent art galleries, exhibiting the very best contemporary art and design in all media including ceramics, wood, glass, fiber, jewelry, metal, design, painting, photography, and works on paper – will converge at SOFA CHICAGO, November 3-6 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. Now in its 23rd year, SOFA CHICAGO is one of the longest running, gallery-presented art fairs in the country, and Chicago’s most popular and well-attended art fair, which is dedicated to Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art and Design. The 2015 edition of SOFA CHICAGO offered more than 36,000 visitors and art collectors the opportunity to collect museum-quality works from some of the world’s most established galleries.
The 2016 Fair will showcase nearly 70 new and returning galleries displaying artwork by emerging and established artists. Following is a highlight of select returning galleries participating in 2016:
Aaron Faber Gallery (New York) focuses on three areas of expertise: contemporary studio jewelry, classic jewelry new and old, and collectible vintage timepieces. The gallery will be showing works by Glenda Arentzen, Arata Fuchi, Baiyang Qiu, Tod Pardon, Rebekah Laskin and Kim Rawdin.
Not to be missed pieces include: Arata Fuchi’s Surge of Emotion 1, a silver ring embellished with shibuichi, copper, fine gold, and pearl. Baiyan Qiu’s Breeze Brooch/Pendant made from 18k yellow and red golds and platinum. Tod Pardon’s Hellowme Sculpture Brooch, made for Aaron Faber's 40th anniversary featuring sterling silver, inlaid bone, turquoise, and pearls. Kim Rawdin’s sculptural, 18k gold cuff with black jade and black onyx is engraved with a Haiku inspired poetry that she imprints on the inside surface of each bracelet.
Adam Blaue Gallery (Cleveland) specializes in handmade artwork by the top artists including such masters as Binh Pho and Alain Mailland. The gallery will feature artists working in glass, wood, and metal including Borowski Studio, Jennifer Caldwell, Steve Ciezki, Mark Harris, Reid Jacobs and Veruska Vagen.
Not to be missed artists include: Sally Rogers, known for her metal and glass sculptures, Fraser Smith, an expert in ornate and colorful wood quilts and Binh Pho, a master of glass and wood with imagery that relates to Asian culture and the natural world.
Blue Rain Gallery (Santa Fe) represents well-established contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds working in a variety of mediums such as paintings, ceramics, bronze, glass, wood and jewelry. They will be showing works by Preston Singletary, Leroy Garcia, Rik Allen, as well as Chris Pappan who has a show opening at the Field Museum during SOFA CHICAGO.
Not to be missed artists include: Preston Singletary’s blown and sand-carved pieces are a modern reflection of the iconography and stories from his Tlingit heritage. Leroy Garcia will be exhibiting a series of glass skulls, embellished with raised design work, that are both an homage to his Chicano heritage and depictions of his alter egos. Rik Allen, uses glass and metal to create sculptures that have a sense of adventure and curiosity. His rockets, space ships, and communications apparatus, while both humorous and serious, bring to mind antiquated notions of space exploration.

browngrotta arts (Wilton CT) has represented museum-quality contemporary arts from the United States and abroad for nearly three decades. The gallery is a leader in international art textiles, mixed media and dimensional art. This year browngrotta arts will be featuring several artists’ work, including Jin-Sook So, Lila Kulka, and Grethe Wittrock.
Not to be missed artists include: Judy Mulford who will be exhibiting her room-sized mixed media installation, Empty Chairs. In addition, four weavings by originative Polish tapestry artist, Wlodzimierz Cygan, which incorporate fiber optic fibers as a light element and, Keiji Nio’s striking red work, Large Interlacing-R. Nio works in the traditional technique of kumihimo, a Japanese form of braid making.
Charon Kransen Arts (New York) promotes exciting, contemporary, international jewelry, and hollowware by both established and emerging artists, whose works are found in museum and private collections around the world.
Not to be missed artists include: Nicola Heidman works with metal, enamel and glass. Amir Sheikhvand uses mixed metals in his jewelry pieces. Efharis Alepedis (double check spelling) incorporates elements of gold, leather and coral in her work. Niki Stylianou’s work is dominated by a combination of metals, patinas and warm colors. Fumiki Tagushi’s jewelry is based on the inherent qualities of the precious metal, using a particular carving technique, chiseling the entire surface of the metal very finely until it sparkles. The gallery will also showcase photography by Adam Brown from his Japan/Mexico series.
Cordesa Fine Art (San Francisco) supports artists who inspire and test contemporary culture. The gallery will be showcasing the works of Sean Newport, Sara Lundkuist, and Jud Bergeron.
Not to be missed pieces include Sean Newport’s Double Black Diamond, Sand Land, and Mojave Mirage; Jud Bergeron’s cast resin wall reliefs; and Sara Lundkuist hand-cast glass pieces.
Duane Reed Gallery (St. Louis) represents nationally recognized contemporary artists working in the fields of painting, photography, and sculpture. The gallery is committed to showcasing innovative, established and emerging artists working both figuratively and abstractly in a variety of media, including ceramics and glass.
Not to be missed artists include: Jenny Pohlman and Sabrina Knowles’s works uses a variety of materials, including hot sculpted glass, various metal works, found objects and beads, achieving a fine sense of formal balance. Jun Kaneko is an internationally recognized and prolific ceramicist. Kaneko’s head forms are beautifully constructed, completely covered in glass mosaic, and displayed on a stainless steel stand. Mary Giles’ contemporary sculptural forms are constructed using the traditional basketry techniques of coiling, often combining waxed linen with metal embellishments of copper or iron. Steven Young Lee’s deconstructed sculptural vessel forms challenge preconceptions of style, symbolism, and identity. Lindsay Pichaske's work combines highly technical and anatomically realistic animal sculptures with unexpected and whimsical materials. Joey Watson's work combines utilitarian objects with a refreshing and playful aesthetic, utilizing slip casting and mold making in his ceramic process, the shapes themselves are sourced through both found objects and 3D printed pieces that are of digital origin.

Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h (Montreal) exhibits outstanding contemporary jewellery and objects created by Canadian and international artists.
Not to be missed pieces include: Andrea Wagner’s brooch, Crystal Cove Inn Near A Subway line. Petter Hoogeboom’s Hexa Basket, featuring nylon and silver. Marie-Eve G. Castonguay’s brooch, The Bird Garden, featuring sterling silver, 18k gold, paper, cotton, and pigments. Rebecca Hannon’s Camouflage series necklace; Aurélie Guillaume’s Théodule Pillule brooch, featuring enamel on copper, sterling silver, fine silver, fine gold and stainless steel. Yong Joo Kim’s bracelet, In Light of Space II, with a hook and loop fastener and thread; Kye-Yeon Son’s Innate Gesture brooch, featuring steel and enamel. And, Yung-Huei Chao’s Transcient Space brooch, featuring recycled building material, and stainless steel wire.

For over 43 years, Habatat Galleries (Royal Oak MI), has been intimately involved in the Studio Glass Movement, showcasing the material to get the recognition it deserves as a fine art medium. Habatat represents the very best artists in contemporary and modern glass sculpture, painting, bronze and ceramics.

Not to be missed pieces include: Peter BremersFlow II, a kiln glass sculpture, Laura Donefer’s Spring/Summer Basket, a blown and torch worked glass piece, Richard Marquis & Nick Mount’s Collaboration, a blown glass sculpture, Steve LinnStephen Hawking, large holograms from carved and blown glass objects in support of a multi-media sculpture based on Stephen Hawking, and Mari MeszarosFrustration, a cast and fused glass bust.
Hawk Galleries (Columbus) features the very best in modern and blown glass artists and sculpture. This year, Hawk Galleries will showcase an incredible solo presentation by renowned Swedish artist, Bertil Vallien.
Not to be missed artist and work: Vallien, who has been casting glass sculptures at the Kosta Boda factory since 1963, will unveil his Legacy Piece, Passage, which he has been working on for the past 18 months. Vallien is a grand storyteller and Passage, a three-meter long cast glass boat form, is a metaphor for life's journey.
For more than four decades Heller Gallery (New York) has exhibited the premier international artists who incorporate glass in their practice. Heller Gallery will be representing artists such as Amber Cowan, Steffen Dam, Michael Glancy, Jeannet Iskandar, Karen LaMonte, Tobias Møhl, Matt Moulthrop, Philip Moulthrop, Sibylle Peretti, Norwood Viviano, and Toots Zynsky.
Not to be missed pieces include: Karen Lamonte’s iconic cast glass dress and a spectacular 5-Part Twill Collection by Tobias Møhl. The gallery will also showcase Norwood Viviano’s ongoing “Mining Industries” series, with a new piece focused on Chicago's Millennium Park.
Korea Craft + Design Foundation (Seoul) will be participating in SOFA CHICAGO in collaboration with Gallery Sklo and Gallery LVS. KCDF is a complex culture space that covers the exhibition, distribution and sales to provide an opportunity for masters, craftsman, designer to produce and exhibit their works and activate the development of high-quality craftworks and living craftworks.

Not to be missed pieces include: Deok-Ho Kim’s Vestige, a white porcelain vessel rooted in the tradition of
minimalism and Sung-Won Park’s Man Leaning Against Wall, featuring cast and blown glass.
projects+gallery (St. Louis) features regional, national and international artists working in a variety of mediums including sculptures, textiles and drawings. The gallery will show innovative works from Hideki Seo, Fantich & Young, Selin Kent, Bex Rox, Karl Fritsch, and Diaboli Kill.
Not to be missed pieces include: Hideki Seo’s FLY, a large scale sculpture which intersects fashion and art. The artist, a fashion designer by day, is greatly influenced by his travels and work in the fashion world. Fantich & Young’s, Alpha Scent is part of the artists Darwinian Voodoo collection and incorporates scientific glass flask, teeth dentures, jaw bone anatomical model, human hair, oil and scent.
Richard Norton Gallery (Chicago) premiered at SOFA CHICAGO last year to rave reviews. Offering a diverse selection of Impressionist and Modern paintings, drawings and sculptures, this year Richard Norton Gallery will be showcasing the artwork of John Knudsen and Harold Haydon, as well as Gertrude Abercrombie, Claude Bentley, Eugene Dana, Francis Chapin. George Maurice Cloud, Alexander Corazzo, Werner Drewes, Hananiah Harari, Carl Holty, Richard Hunt, Camille Andrene Kauffman, Richard Koppe, Suzanne Martyl, Constantine Pougialis, William S. Schwartz, John Storrs, and R. Leroy Turner & Clayton Whitehill.
Not to be missed artists: John Knudsen's work can be very detailed and sometimes, three dimensional. Harold Haydon enjoyed painting in what he termed "binocular vision." His work has a unique, somewhat Surrealist approach.
TAI Modern (Santa Fe) is a fine arts gallery dedicated to exhibiting and supporting contemporary art in a variety of media, with a particular focus on Japanese bamboo art and baskets. This year at SOFA CHICAGO, TAI Modern will showcase the works of numerous artists including Abe Motoshi, Fukunishi Ryosei, Isohi Setsuko, Kajiwara Aya, Morigami Jin, Nagakura Kenichi, Nakamura Tomonori, Nakatomi Hajime, Okada Akira, Jason Salavon, and many more.

For more than 35 years, Traver Gallery (Seattle) has showcased and supported established and up-and-coming artists in a variety of media including ceramics, mixed media, glass, painting, wood, and metal. This year, Traver Gallery will be showing the works of John Kiley, Jun Kaneko, Flora Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick, and Mel Douglas.
Not to be missed pieces include: John Kiley will be featuring a new series of monolithic blocks that have been broken called Fractographst, marking a new series of work in his career. Botanicals, the most recent series of work by Flora C. Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick, continue the artists’ career-long exploration of the natural environments we interact with and inhabit. And, Heads by Jun Kaneko, one of the most famous ceramic sculptors working today. Traver Gallery will be exhibiting 3 of Kaneko's recent raku-fired ceramic heads, which are roughly four times life size and are instantly recognizable forms to collectors.
Wexler Gallery (Philadelphia) presents functional and non-functional work that consistently celebrates innovation. Unified by a commitment to excellent craftsmanship and true dedication to their art, the gallery showcases some of the world’s most esteemed artists in design, ceramic, mixed media, painting, photography, prints, glass, jewelry and metal.
Not to be missed artists include: Dale Chihuly, Stanislav Libensky & Jaroslava Brychtova, Harvey Littleton, Roberto Lugo, Joanna Manousis, Richard Marquis, Judy McKie, William Morris, Warren Muller, Andy Paiko, Albert Paley, Tom Patti, Mark Peiser, Peter Pincus, Marco and Mattia Salvadore, Lino Tagliapietra, and Ann Wolff.
SOFA CHICAGO is open Thursday 5 pm – 7 pm for VIP Preview ticket holders and from 7 pm – 9 pm to the Public Preview ticket holders; SOFA CHICAGO is open Friday and Saturday 11am-7pm; and Sunday 12-6pm.

Tickets are available in advance or at the door, and they allow access to all aspects of SOFA CHICAGO. Tickets are $20 for general admission in advance, and $25 at the door; $30 for three-day pass. For advance ticket sales visit

For more information, please visit or call 800.563.SOFA (7632).

Presented by international art galleries, SOFA CHICAGO (November 3-6) offers the best in museum-quality contemporary art and design. Artist talks, panel discussions and special exhibit are included with admission. For more information visit
SOFA CHICAGO is owned by Atlanta-based Urban Expositions, which produces Art Aspen, Art Hamptons, Houston Art Fair, and Art Palm Springs. All art fairs are presented by galleries from around the world exhibiting modern and contemporary art in a variety of media including painting, photography, sculpture, and mixed- media.

For more information on art and design fairs produced by Urban Expositions, visit the following websites: Houston Art Fair: Sep. 29-Oct. 2, 2016 SOFA CHICAGO: November 3-6, 2016 | Art Palm Springs: February 16-19, 2017 | Art

Hamptons: 2017 dates to be announced | Art Aspen: 2017 dates to be announced |