SOFA CHICAGO is the exceptional art fair devoted to design, and this year marks its 20th anniversary. It fills Festival Hall at Navy Pier through Sunday.
For three days a year, more than 70 galleries from around the world gather here to show and tell and sell the wares of seasoned masters of design.
There’s new and functional artwork from Korea, Israel, Scotland, Quebec, Italy, Argentina, Australia and the United States.
These works are made from silver, glass, wood, textiles, salvaged materials – whatever the creative minds behind them decided was useful.
Chicago is well-represented. Jim Rose makes handmade steel furniture inspired by quilts in which strips of aged steel mimic worn cloth. It’s incredible, unique and sturdy as a girder. His work is represented by Ann Nathan Gallery.
This year SOFA CHICAGO debuts CONNECT, a design competition with installations created by students at IIT, the University of Edinburgh and 4 other schools of art and design.
And there’s the new German Pavilion with seven German artists present to discuss their art and technique in various media.
There’s even an interactive game for smart devices, Sum of Their Parts. Presented by Chicago’s Intuit gallery, the game allows fairgoers to collaborate with other visitors to create a virtual exhibit.
Artwork that’s weird and wonderful, gorgeous and grotesque -- always a good reason to leave the couch.