Wharton Esherick Special Exhibit To Be Featured

Sixth Annual International Exposition Of Sculpture Objects & Functional Art: SOFA NEW YORK 2003 May 28 - June 1 Seventh Regiment Armory Park Avenue & 67th

(January 2003)

Philadelphia, PA (January 2003)…In cooperation with Moderne Gallery of Philadelphia, SOFA NEW YORK 2003 will feature a museum-quality presentation of works by the master craftsman Wharton Esherick -- complete with built-in units originally installed in private homes, free-standing furniture, lighting, objects and wood-cuts - all available for purchase. Robert Aibel, Owner/Director of Moderne Gallery, says, "We hope to create a visually exciting environment that captures the spirit and essence of Wharton Esherick and his life's work, from early two-dimensional works from 1922-34 to iconic pieces like the exceptional Music Stand from 1962."

Mark Lyman, President of Expressions of Culture, Inc., the company that produces biannual international expositions of Sculpture Objects & Functional Art in Chicago and New York, says, "We are very pleased to partner with Moderne Gallery to present a Special Exhibit of works by Wharton Esherick, a modern master at SOFA NEW YORK. Robert Aibel of Moderne Gallery has led the way at SOFA expositions for the exhibition of vintage works by important 20th century designers and furniture artists such asGeorge Nakashima (1905-1990) and Wharton Esherick(1887-1970). It's important to present modern works at SOFA, as many contemporary pieces reference their rich history and unparalleled artisanry."

Moderne Gallery sold a 1980 buckeye burl freeform table by George Nakashima in the high five figures at SOFA NEW YORK 2002, which Judith Gura in the October 2002 Art & Auction said, "may well be a sales record for Nakashima." Roberta Smith of The New York Timescalled the rare table "one of the show's masterpieces," in her review of SOFA NEW YORK 2002.

Reflecting a cross-collecting trend in today's eclectic art market, Moderne Gallery frequently sells Esherick and Nakashima to very high-end collectors, who are buyingthese works to go with their contemporary art by Rauschenberg, Koons, Kapoor (Kapoor is buying Nakashima for himself as well), Kelly and Motherwell. Aibel, also a specialist in French Art Deco, suggests, "This crossover appeal might parallel what happened in the Art Deco period in Paris when the major Modern Art collectors began to buy and commission Art Deco furniture and accessories to go with their art."

Moderne Gallery will also present vintage pieces byWendell CastleArthur Espenet CarpenterDavid EbnerSam MaloofGeorge NakashimaDavid Roth,Hanna SilverChristopher Ray and others at SOFA NEW YORK 2003. Robert Aibel, a scholar in 20th century decorative arts, will speak in the SOFA NEW YORK Lecture Series.

Fifty of the world's finest decorative and fine art galleries will exhibit at The Sixth Annual International Exposition of Sculpture Objects & Functional Art: SOFA NEW YORK 2003, May 28 - June 1 at the Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Ave. and 67th Street. SOFA NEW YORK 2003 will kick off at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Wednesday, May 28, with a festive annual Opening Night Gala Preview Benefit for The Museum of Arts and Design in New York (formerly American Craft Museum). The exposition, featuring an acclaimed Lecture Series, free to SOFA attendees, is open to the public May 29 - June 1. For full information and a downloadable high-resolution image of Music Stand by Wharton Esherick, Walnut and Cherry Wood, 1962, visit the press pages ofwww.sofaexpo.com.

For editorial support, contact Barbara Smythe-Jones, 800.357.7632, barbara@sofaexpo.com. For additional information and assistance in downloading press images, contact: Jen Haybach, 866.870.7632, jen@sofaexpo.com.

For further information on Moderne Gallery and Robert Aibel, contact: Phoebe Resnick, Resnick Communications, 610-872-2689, prres1@comcast.net. Also see www.modernegallery.com.