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The eighth annual International Exposition of Sculpture Objects & Functional Art (SOFA) in Chicago scored steep sales last weekend, proving that this niche area has more than come into its own. Despite laboring under the perception of being mere craft, top examples of this kind of artistry boast astonishing prices. Record prices were paid for eerie glass sculptures of warriors by Californian William Morris at the Riley Hawk Gallery of Cleveland. In all, five collectors wrote out a stunning $1 million plus for a scant five examples. Hohokan Man, a rendition in rectangular platelets of glass bound by copper thread went for $350,000, as did Colima Man, a composition of tawny iridescent couch and mollusk shells. Other versions sold for $175,000-65,000.

Other glass artists achieving close to sell-out status were Lara de Santillana and Toots Zynsky, both with the Seattle Elliott Brown Gallery; Lino Tagliapietra at New York's Heller Gallery; and Stanislav Libensky/Jaroslava Brychtova at Galerie Aspekt of the Czech Republic. Quirky furniture by the Tasmanian Patrick Hall at Despard Gallery from Australia also sold well along with William Hunter's wooden vessels at the del Mano Gallery from L.A. In all, a total of 27,000 visitors trouped through the Festival Hall on the Navy Pier.
-- Brook S. Mason

Does art have you boxed in? Then check out the inaugural Art Basel Miami Beach, Dec. 13-16, 2001, which is exhibiting work by 19 young artists in shipping containers, as part of its overall program. The container village, dubbed "Art Positions," is high class -- each steel box is turned into a white cube with a lining of white wooden walls, air conditioned, given a plastic front door and a special entry ramp, silver umbrella and lighting. Design is by the architecture firm Steinmann & Schmid. Participating in this interesting experiment are artists from Air de Paris, Paris; Catherine Bastide, Brussels; Carlier Gebauer, Berlin; China Art Objects, Los Angeles; Cohan Leslie and Browne, New York; Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco; Galerie Martin Janda Raum aktueller Kunst, Vienna; Galleria Francesca Kaufmann, Milan; Andrew Kreps, New York; Kuckei + Kuckei, Berlin; Lombard-Freid Fine Arts, New York; Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe; Galería Espacio Mínimo, Madrid; Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo; Rare, New York; Sandroni.Rey, Venice, Ca.; Barbara Thumm, Berlin; Vedanta Gallery, Chicago; Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen; and Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam. The 20th container is converted by New York architects Lo/Tek into a diner-like "Setai Bar" with cocktails and djs every evening. For more info, e-mail,

Time is running out to visit "The Landscape We Make," a group exhibition of photographs at the Evanston Art Center, Sept. 9-Oct. 23, 2001. Organized by Artnet Magazine Chicago correspondent Victor M. Cassidy, the show features the work of six photographers -- Paul Clark, Joe Llewellyn Davis, Terry Evans, James Iska, Linda Horn and David Powden -- whose works respond and comment upon the human transformations effected on landscape. For more info, check out the website at

California artist Stephen Hendee, who is celebrated for Bat Cave-like environmental installations made with foamcore, black tape and fluorescent lights, inaugurates the new Priska C. Juschka Fine Art gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Oct. 19-Dec. 3, 2001. The new space is located at 212 Berry Street, (718) 599-0844; for more info email

The Neue Galerie New York, a new museum dedicated to the fine and decorative arts of Germany and Austria from the first half of the 20th century, officially opens to the public with "New Worlds: German and Austrian Art, 1890-1940," Nov. 16, 2001-Feb. 18, 2002. Founded by the late German Expressionist art dealer Serge Sabarsky and Museum of Modern Art board chairman Ronald S. Lauder, the museum is housed in the six-story, Louis XIII-style, Beaux Arts building at Fifth Avenue and 86th Street, which was built in 1914 by Carrere & Hastings, the architects of the New York Public Library, and at one time occupied by society doyenne Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt III. (The Neue Galerie New York is, of course, inspired in part by the Neue Galerie in Vienna, which was founded in 1923 to exhibit works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and other artists of the Vienna Secession).

The museum is headed by former Sabarsky Gallery director Renée Price with Scott Gutterman as deputy director, and anticipates two shows a year, plus exhibitions from the museum's collection. The museum has a café -- the Café Sabarsky, operated by Kurt Gutenbrunner, owner and chef of Wallsé -- as well as a bookshop and a design store with objects based on original designs by Josef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos, Marianne Brandt and others. The gallery is open on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; general admission is $10. Its website, at, is under construction.

The Cleveland Museum of Art has selected Rafael Viñoly to design its planned expansion, which will add 102,000 square feet and renovate the museum's four existing buildings, for a total capacity of 491,000 square feet. The design phase is expected to last through the end of 2003 with groundbreaking projected for the summer of 2004. Renovation of the museum's landmark 1916 building and terrace is already underway. The cost of the expansion was estimated in 1999 at $170 million. Viñoly's museum designs include the Fourtabat Museum in Buenos Aires (2001) and Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art, opening in 2002.

The Annenberg Foundation has given the Metropolitan Museum of Art a grant of $20 million for the acquisition of European art. Longtime Met patrons Walter and Lenore Annenberg have split the donation into two parts: $10 million for immediate use, and $10 million for an endowment fund.

Joseph Rosa, architecture curator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and former curator of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., has been named curator of architecture and design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The appointment coincides with the endowment of the position by SFMOMA trustee Helen Hilton Raiser. Rosa succeeds Aaron Betsky, SFMOMA's architecture curator since 1995, who has been named director of the Netherlands Institute of Architecture in Rotterdam.

Nancy B. Rosoff has been named curator and chair of the department of the arts of the Americas at the Brooklyn Museum of Art; formerly she was assistant director for museum operations at the New-York Historical Society, and associate curator at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York. The Brooklyn Museum has also appointed Aimee E. Froom as associate curator of Islamic Art; she had served as a fellow in the Islamic art department at the Metropolitan Museum.

Painter Ira Goldberg has been named director of the Art Students League of New York. A former student at the school from 1979 to '86, Goldberg was appointed to be the League's comptroller in 1982 and administrative manager in 1996.

The San Jose Museum of Art director Daniel T. Keegan has appointed JoAnne Northrup as senior curator; previously she was curator at the de Saisset Museum in Santa Clara and the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. Val DeLang was promoted to director of education, and Mary A. Gallagher has been appointed director of development.

The Getty Research Institute of the J. Paul Getty Trust has announced the 11 Getty Scholars for next year. During their residencies at the center, which is directed by Thomas Crow, the scholars work on projects related to the general theme of "Frames of Viewing: Perception, Experience, Judgment." They are Mieke Bal, Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Chloe Chard, Charles Harrison, John Hyman, Lawrence Kruger, Jacqueline Lichtenstein, Jerry Moore, Deanna Petherbridge, Dennis L. Sepper and Terence Smith. Next year's theme is "Biography"; applications (forms at are due by Nov. 1, 2001.