Thursday, June 01, 2006

only in New York (long)

Had a great day today at SOFA NY. (Sculptural Objects and Functional Art) No pictures allowed, so you'll probably be doing a lot of outclicks if you want to see some of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Rachel, Judy, Diane and I took the train into NY. En route, I took a few pix. As you know, I love the gritty, industrial scenes - but shooting from a moving train with a digital that has a delay gets unpredictable results. (on the other hand, I love unpredictable results). I still haven't mastered the art (Ted - I need a few lessons - can we barter??) but here are the ones that weren't fuzzy.

somewhere around Newark, NJ

We walked from 6th Ave. to Lexington and took the subway up to the 7th Regiment Armory. A few sights as we walked east on 33rd St...


Finally, the armory. I was just saying to Rachel that I always see somebody I know at SOFA when I looked up and saw Jeanne Williamson. She was in NY for the week with cohorts and Art Quilt Network NY members Linda Levin, Dominie Nash, Liz Axford, Karen Perrine, and Elizabeth Barton. They were doing the museums and of course, SOFA. Once inside, we met Joanie San Chirico and Joan Dreyer, as planned. And we ran into long-lost friend and fabulous artist, Kerr Grabowski, who was there with artist Hollie Heller.

The show: lots of glass and ceramics, a ton of jewelry, and a some fiber: baskets, wovens, textiles, wire, and some other exotic materials. Actually, it was the most innovative- experimental, un-commercial work in the place. Much of the art was just so-so, a lot of it was pure commercial crapola, and there was some wonderful stuff.

The content: Content??? There was plenty - but who could figure out what it was? some of the most beautiful and elegant and innovative work did not announce its content - and who cared? On the other hand, you could call this a piece with content. Who wants to look at this all the time? Or even any of the time?

The lookers and buyers were out in force and most of them - including us, of course - were so elegant and well put together that it was hard to tell who was who. As I said, no photos allowed - but here are a few links where you can see some of what we saw. When you are done with reading this post, check out these sites and artists. 1) Run, do not walk, to the Brown Grotta website and click your way through the images. Many of these artists were represented and their pieces were in the booth. To die-for.

2) Jane Sauer's Thirteen Moons Gallery had a booth that included work by Lewis Knauss and others.

3) Snyderman-Works showed work from a British textile artist named Matthew Harris. If I had had a spare $8500 I would have bought his work in a NY minute. Or even a spare $5500. Brilliant work, which made me think of Dorothy Caldwell, although I can't explain why.

4) Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, MA was there. Check out the work of Donna Rhae Marder.

We did the place in less than 3 hours, including lunch, and were exhausted. Before we left, I had to shoot this picture of the ceiling pipes in the ladies' room at the armory.


So much for today's adventure with NY, with art, and with CONTENT.


martha in ny said...

Hi Rayna
Is this show open to the public? I would love to go. I can hop on the train from long beach and be there is no time.

Anonymous said...

Well, Rayna, I've just expended nearly an hour browsing the gallery links you posted. There's some really innovative, fabulous work there! As you noted on the QA List, though, isn't it interesting that so much fiber art is getting critical acclaim and attention, while fiber art in the form of art quilts isn't. In my view, this is changing; it's only a matter of time.
Tomme Fent

Jeri said...

Thanks for reminding me about SOFA! I usually try to go, but this year too much going on at home. Interesting that no quilts this year--I usually love to see Tim Harding, Nancy Crow and MJ there, and I enjoy Jon Eric Riis at Thirteen Moons ( and Snyderman had some of his stuff in past).Interesting that fiber is running in the direction of metal and reed.
As a side note, I saw Domine Nash, Margaret Cusak ( and daughter) and Karen Perrine at the Folk Art Museum later on yesterday; there was a doll exhibit there, and we enjoyed seeing that show ( Karen had a doll there, as did I and some of the Manhattan Quilters Guild folks).Anyway, thanks!

Sonji Hunt said...

You always have big fun, Rayna. Thanks for all the outtakes so that we could share in the visuals. I'd be way to lazy to do all that.

Rayna said...

Well, Sonji - I don't ALWAYS have big fun. But I don't tell you about the other stuff - LOL. I thought the gallery links were worth the 3 hours it took me to write the post because the art was so fabulous and inspiring.

Tomme - we should live so long.

Jeri - Snyderman did have a few silk Tim Harding pieces but I hardly think of them as 'quilts.' And Thirteen Moons did have some of Jon Eric Riis' beaded stuff -- bugs and insects. I remember the beaded body at Snyderman a year or two ago. Not my cup of tea.

margaret said...

Thanks so much for compiling all that - I spent a long time following the links - and for someone who's never been to NY the shots from the train are revealing: *real* scenery.
SOFA sounds like a bigger, denser version of the Chelsea Crafts Fair which happens in London every October -- and is in a restricted venue, size-wise, so it stretches over two weeks and has different makers displaying each week. Lots of good stuff there, quite a few textile things.

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