Sunday, April 6, 2014

Albert Paley’s Bench at SOFA

This is a followup to yesterday’s post about SOFA Chicago.  After I left the Tom Joyce event we explored the many art exhibits.  The pieces were largely sculptural, some functional and displayed by dealers all over the world.  It was all very high quality.  Some of it was mind boggling in complexity.  Many types of media were represented and three hours of exploring didn’t really do it justice.
When I came to the Paley museum bench it stopped me in my tracks.  I probably studied it for 30 minutes and made some notes.  I don’t have any images from the show so I imagine they were prohibited.
So other dealers had displays of metalwork but nothing to compare. I don’t think I've encountered another piece of metalwork forged or otherwise which has so captivated me.  Even the Portal gates to the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian and the Washington National Cathedral Gate don’t amaze me as much.
Over the following years I made it a point to visit sites displaying Paley’s work and I’ve heard him speak a couple of times.  I’ll never be able to see all of his great works first hand but I have probably viewed images of the majority of them.  I like some works better than others but it is all masterfully designed and executed.
Albert Paley Studios

Victoria & Albert Museum bench (1994)

Bench Detail Images 

Victoria and Albert Museum

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