SOFA (Sculptural Objects and Functional Art) planned to have a 4th year art fair in the beautiful Santa Fe Convention Center this August. Unfortunately in June they cancelled the fair for this year. As a happy participant every year since the beginning, the Jane Sauer Gallery was very disappointed. Sauer states, “I always found that the fair attracted a new audience to Santa Fe and was a financial boon to the City as well as the galleries who participated. Other galleries in the City also gained from the influx of art lovers from other parts of the country. Restaurants and hotels also benefitted.“
“My artists had already begun to prepare some fabulous new artworks for the fair and I wanted to be able to share this work with what would have been the SOFA audience. A number of my regular collectors had made arrangements to be in Santa Fe during this time. The question was how to make mile high lemon chiffon pie out of lemons.” “SOFA LOST & REGAINED” became the answer. The gallery will be featuring all 13 artists that would have been seen in the convention center. The work intended to be shown at the art fair will be on view at the gallery instead.
Artists usually hold out their very finest work for art fairs because they know many more people will see it than in a gallery show. This mini gallery size art fair is no exception. Geoffrey Gorman is creating a few special pieces that will act as a preview to his solo gallery show opening on August 17. Gorman was ill this past winter and had some magical dreams in which his animal friends would come to visit him. There was a major difference in their appearance. Instead of being highly embellished with ornaments and jewels of rusted metal, these animals were all clothed in plain ghostly white. CERIS WAITS, a white fox in this series almost feels like an apparition clothed in purity. Irina Zaytceva continues to amaze us with her imagination and her extraordinary ability to paint and sculpt porcelain. She teases us with gremlins and half human, half animal beings. Most often the viewer can also find a touch of eroticism in the work, just enough to tantalize one. METAMORFOZA is a teapot but any resemblance to the classic teapot ends with the word. The reclining male/female form is half human and half fish. Our own Santa Fean, Roberto Cardinale, has created a major new interpretation of SANTUARIO DE CHIMAYO. Cardinale often revisits churches for a second or third look. Each time he sees and makes them with a renewed passion for the architecture and a new fresh vision. CHIMAYO in this exhibit is no exception.
At each SOFA art fair we offer a few new artists for our loyal followers. We try to create surprise and excitement at each art fair location that speaks to the expected audience. For Santa Fe we are introducing two new artists working in wood. Ron Layport owned a graphic design firm for many years before selling his business to follow his love of wood carving. The evidence of his keen sense of design and pattern is in each piece. The slow process of hand carving each vessel gives Layport time to contemplate each element and create pure perfection. The 2 pieces in the show, MOONWATCH and SPIRIT WINDS ON TRACES OF PAST are masterpieces.
The other wood artist, Christian Burchard, approaches his art in a different manner. Madrone burl wood, often viewed as a cast off because of its snarly and idiosyncratic ways, is his wood of choice. Burchard listens to the wood and moves with it, never forcing movement which is not there. He has created a series of books, ANOTHER LITERARY DYNASTY, asserting the book shape as a sculptural form. The books, varying in size and shape are placed casually in an arrangement predetermined by the artist which can also be altered by the viewer. He also has created a series of 12 vessels, ranging from mini to 8” in diameter, RED BASKETS that are playfully scattered around each other. Bob Clyatt is a new sculptor to the gallery. His intense figures are carefully sculpted and then placed in a final Raku firing. Raku consists of various kinds of debris placed in a lidded container. The very hot clay is quickly removed from the kiln, placed in the container, and the heat from the ceramic piece ignites the debris, creating a second firing of the clay. This firing is quite dramatic to both watch and to the clay body, leaving cracks and crazing. The result is a figure that is both sensual and lyrical but also primal.
Jane Sauer Gallery hopes that this exhibit will continue the legacy of exceptional material-based art being part of the local art scene in Santa Fe alongside of paintings, drawings and metal sculpture. Santa Fe has a long history of honoring art made of various materials. There already exists a deep appreciation for objects made of clay and hand woven blankets and rugs. Beading, mask making, wood carving plus many other ways of making art have existed in this area for generations, long before there were galleries to sell the work.
All of the artworks that we have curated into our gallery show, “SOFA LOST & REGAINED,” are worthy of being found in a museum exhibition or collection. We are very proud to be bringing these artworks from all over the country to exhibit in Santa Fe.
We hope that SOFA will return to Santa Fe in the future. If they do not, we sincerely thank Mark Lyman and the Art Fair Company for starting something of such importance in our city that has left a legacy for the quality of art exhibited and offered to collectors in Santa Fe.