With SOFA CHICAGO 2009 a wrap, it’s time to take a moment to reflect on the meaning of the frenzied three-day art extravaganza. While it’s impossible to fully digest the experience only a day after, there are a few thoughts and observations to share as a starting point.
The most apparent shift is how galleries that have survived the downturn in good enough condition to afford the expensive trip to Chicago clearly understand that business-as-usual doesn’t work any longer. This was a different SOFA in size (68 exhibitors instead of the 100-plus from years past), in assortment (the selection of works on display seemed more carefully considered and offered a wider variety), and in tone (“guardedly optimistic” would best describe the mood of collectors and, by the last day of the expo, the dealers). Continue reading