Offering SOFA CHICAGO 2018 patrons and collectors new ways to navigate the extraordinary artwork at the show, SELECTS highlights pieces chosen by noted curators, designers, and critics. Vice President Donna Davies has tapped top professionals in the art and design communities to review the fair and make their picks, which will also be noted at the fair and accessible online for easy reference. “We’re adding these selections to give our audience another opportunity to connect with the artwork,” said Davies. “Seeing what pieces each of these curators, designers, and critics have noted gives our visitors opportunities to further engage with artworks at the fair.”

Janet Blutter Shiff, ASID, Blutter/Shiff Design Associates
Mitchell Channon, ASID, Mitchell Channon Design
Zurich Esposito, Hon. AIA, Executive Director AIA
Steve KadlecKadlec Architecture + Design
Suzanne LovellSuzanne Lovell, Inc.
Robin Thomas, Robin Thomas Design

Yeon Jung, Studio 21 Fine Art

“I love the mixed use of materials and design of this unique teapot. The way the wood balances the silver...and the wonderful accents make it very special!”

Vlastislav Janacek, George Billis Gallery

“Absolutely STUNNING! Love the colors...shape...and balance of this piece.”

Lino Tagliapietra, Schantz Galleries

“Beautiful...and I can feel the movement! These could be used in so many ways, and configured on different size walls or spaces. Love the warmth of colors too.”

Pascal Oudet, Kirsten Muenster Gallery

“These vessels are fabulous! The soft and sophisticated delicate weaving really caught my eye. Love the shapes too and combination of all 3 together.”

Lucie Houdkova, Charon Kransen Arts

“This brooch is beautiful and I adore the precise structure of the way the artist layered the material perfectly from one piece to another...and on each individual piece. Fabulous!!!”


Janet Blutter Shiff, ASID

Blutter/Shiff Design Associates

Janet Blutter Shiff, ASID, is a recognized professional in the design industry. Her passion and enthusiasm for the career she cherishes has made her one of Chicago’s most successful interior designers.

Blutter/Shiff Design Associates was founded over 50 years ago by her dear mother Joan Blutter, FASID who was an industry leader and visionary. Joan’s impeccable style, majestic personality, warmth and tireless work ethic made her a celebrated icon within the design world. Janet is proud to continue her mother’s legacy.

Her firm is located in the Merchandise Mart in the heart of the design community. Together with her team she provides luxury residential and commercial interiors, working in every style and vein, with no project being too large or too small. Blutter/Shiff Designs is driven by quality and timeless designs, with a genuine commitment to the highest level of service.

In addition to a vast number of residential clients throughout metropolitan Chicago, the firm is currently working on projects in New York, Florida, Arizona, and California.

Janet takes extraordinary pride in personal attention and fostering lifelong relationships with her clients, colleagues, architects, and industry partners. The first has an extremely loyal and broad client base in both primary and secondary homes throughout the country. Their work has been published in numerous trade magazines, digital outlets and consumer publications.

Andrew Brown and Lasse Kristensen, Kattegat Gallery

“The pure simplicity of this soft curve juxtaposed with sharp points creates a wonderful sense of tension and excitement. The opacity of carved wood paired with the translucency of cast glass is brilliant. The artists often use these forms to create an abstract reference to Viking ships. I simply enjoy the stunning beauty found in the balance of all of these contrasting elements.”

Stine Bidstrup, Heller Gallery

“I was initially drawn to this piece by the rich saturation of color in a form that feels both architectural and organic. The artist’s inspiration for these forms is a correspondence that took place among architects in 1919-1920 that focused on creating a utopian architectural vision of the future. Their ideas referenced buildings made of colored glass and steel. Bidstrup’s work gives these ideas spectacular color and form, inviting new ways to think about structure even now.”

Hun Chung Lee, GallerySP

“There’s a wonderful ambiguity to this piece. It can be seen as furniture, as architecture, and as sculptural art. Its scale almost 8 feet tall by 8 feet wide – is monumental and gives the piece an architectural sensibility. The organic forms rendered in glazed ceramic also suggest the spectacular work of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, whose unique vision still dazzles in Barcelona.”

Sibylle Peretti, Heller Gallery

“I’m drawn to pieces that have a narrative, are richly crafted and have an intriguing sense of materiality. The story here of children in nature gathering pearl-like gems is echoed in the material itself, as if the pearls that the children are gathering are embedded in the glazed surface. There is also such an innocence and lack of self-consciousness to this, inviting us into a secret world where the border between work and play is seamless.”

Irina Zaytceva, Duane Reed Gallery

“This lovely piece is full of whimsy. In an imaginative stroke, the sculptural vessel appears to be holding the very coral in which the mermaid lives. The craftsmanship and colors are fabulous, infusing the piece with the character of jewelry even as the mermaid adorns herself in pearls. The porcelain is both canvas and sculpture, creating a charmed moment in the imaginary life of a fantastic creature.”

Toots Zynsky, Heller Gallery

“The decoration of this exquisite organic fused glass vessel feels like an abstract expressionist painting. The colors suggest the magnificence of a king penguin and is in fact part of a series the artist has created honoring endangered species. The layering of thousands of multi-colored glass threads into a sensuous molded piece is ingenious.”

Thomas Scoon, Ken Saunders Gallery

“This piece entwines nature with humanity in a sculpture that invokes an interdependent relationship. The scale is large and wonderfully compelling and the materials work beautifully together. The solidity of cast glass, bronze and granite together with the delicacy and shimmer of the copper branches create a charming contrast and a playful commentary.”

Reka Lorincz, Charon Kransen Arts

“Of course! Mommy’s pearls with baby’s truck; what a charming and honest juxtaposition! This “Weekend Work Necklace” holds the tension between glamor and motherhood perfectly. It’s engaging, true, and it makes me smile.”

Michael Boroniec, Lyons Wier Gallery

“This whimsical piece compels the viewer to wait and watch; something is bound to happen. Caught in the motion of “unwinding” or collapsing, this deconstructed (or deconstructing?) vessel defies gravity. The negative space is integral to the work, while the circularity and texture invite touch. I can’t help but think of the spiraling Guggenheim Museum – unraveling before my eyes!”


Mitchell Channon, ASID

Mitchell Channon Design

Mitchell Channon is an award-winning residential interior designer in Chicago known for his ingenious use of color and a talent for telling a homeowner’s story with one-of-a-kind distinction. “His selections come together in a surprisingly original way,” writes CS Magazine. His portfolio reveals a stunning range of creative power.

Mitchell’s drive for excellence has earned his firm, Mitchell Channon Design, numerous ASID Design Excellence awards and wide publication. A lifelong Chicagoan, he draws inspiration from the city’s own deep roots in innovative design. “Great design is great art,” he declares. “As Chicagoans, we live and breathe this heady equation every day. It’s in our buildings, our parks, and our neighborhoods. It’s in us, inspiring our mission: Elevate style to the level of art.”


Mark Peiser, Bender Gallery

“The architectural feel of the work is really appealing.”

Dylan Martinez, Lyons Wier Gallery

“Clever, beautiful and beguiling work.”

Tessa Eastman, Steidel Fine Art

“Intricate, complex and beautiful composition that evokes nature and inspires contemplation.”

Lucie Houdkova, Charon Kransen Fine Arts

“A temptingly tactile reminder of the intricate systems of patterns that appear in nature.”

Reinhard Gorner, Kahn Gallery

“Beautifully composed and lit image takes the viewer somewhere else.”

Lee Yun Hee, Huue Contemporary

“Intricate, strange, lovely, fun and very fine.”

Steffan Dam, Heller Gallery

“Curiously beautiful, intricate, and eerie in the best way. ”


Zurich Esposito, Hon. AIA

Executive Director AIA

Zurich Esposito is the Executive Vice President for AIA Chicago, one of the nation’s largest chapters of the American Institute of Architects. Zurich’s responsibilities include overseeing continuing education programs and events for the 3000-member organization and his role as publication director and a contributor for CHICAGO ARCHITECT, a magazine published by AIA Chicago.

Zurich holds a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has taught architectural history at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and has participated on many design-related juries for academic institutions, organizations and awards programs, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Schiff Foundation Fellowship of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Architectural Club. Zurich is immediate past president of the board of the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association, a delegate agency of the City of Chicago. He is also a member of the board of directors for the Ragdale Foundation, the artist residency in Lake Forest, located on the historic summer estate of noted architect Howard Van Doren Shaw.

Additionally, Zurich serves on advisory committees of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce, the Schweiker House Preservation Trust, and the editorial advisory board for the Midwest edition of the Architect’s Newspaper.


Dylan Martinez, Lyons Wier Gallery

“A simple, mundane subject matter that captures and refracts light to create an other worldly effect.”

Philippe Nigro, Casati Gallery

“Reminiscent of Russian Constructivism, these unique little objects have a playful presence and strong architectural form.”

Katja Toporski, Charon Kransen Arts

“Delicate, organic compositions that have a sense of movement and life emanating from them.”

Mel Douglas, Traver Gallery

“A wonderfully simple composition in glass that appears to oscillate and move when viewing.”

Sin-Jeong Seo, Gallery LVS & Craft

“Traditional bamboo weaving in a simple box shape that expresses a modern feel.”

Stine Bidstrup, Heller Gallery

“Remarkable compositions in glass that have an architectural strength and ethereal lightness.”


Steve Kadlec

Kadlec Architecture + Design

Steve is a registered architect with over 25 years experience in residential architecture and interior design including the past 20 years in Chicago. Previous experience includes architecture and interior design firms in London and Boston, where emphasis on integrating modern design within a strong historic environment developed his sensitivity toward contemporary contextual design. Over the years, Kadlec Architecture + Design have developed a body of work that transcends a singular style to reflect the essence of a space, location and client.

This focus on quality design has been nationally recognized by Metropolitan Home when Steve was honored as one of “Design’s Rising Stars”; by i4Design Magazine as one of Chicago’s “Sweet 16” designers; and by Contract Magazine as one of the firms making a ‘an impression on the design industry”.

Mr. Kadlec is an active member of the American Institute of Architects, the Leaders of Design Council, as well as past Chairman of DIFFA Chicago, the Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids. In addition, Steve has served as a juror for various NEOCON product competitions and as guest juror for student work at the University of Cincinnati, University of Illinois Chicago, Harrington Institute, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Mel Douglas, Traver Gallery

“The ever-present dichotomy of black and white expressed in totality by engraved and cold-worked techniques on glass. Beautiful ghosted shadows.”

Pascal Oudet, Kirsten Muenster Projects

“Oak is expertly crafted to evoke the formal expression of a ceramic vessel.”

Joonyong Kim, Gallery Sklo

“Lovely botanical lines give rise to a Lalique-like expression on blown and cold-worked glass.”

Reinhard Gorner, Kahn Gallery

“An expression of the continuum of perspective…Wonderful architecture at its best.”

Stine Bidstrup, Heller Gallery

“Encased movement in glass sculpting with folds and pleats that express perfected precision.”


Suzanne Lovell

Suzanne Lovell, Inc.

Suzanne Lovell is an Architect, Interior Designer and Passionate Collector. She is Founder and Principal of Suzanne Lovell, Inc., a design studio with offices in Chicago and New York, and projects located across the country and around the world. Known for its distinct approach to design, Suzanne Lovell, Inc. creates couture environments internationally through the complete integration of architecture, sophisticated materials, custom furniture and textiles, antiques and fine art collections to express a passion for home and convey each Client’s unique point of view. Through extensive travels and a significant portfolio of work, Suzanne has formed a global network of talented artisans and craftspeople to facilitate her boundless creativity and craft her sophisticated, timeless and approachable interiors.

Her firm consists of a team of talented architects, designers and administrators who pride themselves on resourceful solutions through a broad spectrum of services that provide Peace of Mind to its Clients while delivering the pinnacle of design. An innovator practicing at the intersection of architecture and interiors, design and fine art, Suzanne is a sought-after lecturer and keynote speaker, addressing the topics of passionate collecting, fine art and the creation of value collections, as well as the intelligent integration of architectural interiors with sophisticated furnishings, textiles and art.

Suzanne’s work has been widely published and she is honored to be among Architectural Digest's "Top 100 Interior Designers and Architects." She is the recipient of three Acanthus Awards from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art and is a finalist in the 2014 International Design and Architecture Awards. Artistic Interiors: Designing with Fine Art Collections, a monograph documenting the work of her firm, is published by Abrams Books.


Sin Jeong Seo, Gallery LVS & Craft

“An intriguing pair of finely woven bamboo boxes by Sin-Jeong Seo pays homage to traditional techniques while presenting an exquisite modern sculptural form. Delicate and intricate textures, highlighted by the richness of a lacquered sheen, create complex patterns set within the shape of a simple square box. The overall shape is defined by a plain linear band that grounds each base while the refined design of the corners support the slight curve of the top. The contrast between the complexity of the weave and the simplicity of the square is an invitation to look closer and explore this exceptional artistry and composition.”

Yoshitomo Saito, William Havu Gallery

“The simple elliptical sculptural form by Yoshitomo Saito is full of energy and contradictions. At first glance it appears to be created from a natural wood material, swirled and wrapped into a utilitarian type vessel. Although the essence of this delicate twig like material is understood, the piece is far more complex. The irregularity of the linear gnarled bronze strand twists and turns into an elegant and graceful sculptural form with its beauty extending into the shadows that mimic the overall shape and negative spaces of this stunning art piece.”

Reinhard Gorner, Kahn Gallery

“This fine art print by Reinhard Gorner is a beautifully composed image of an exceptional interior space. Although this interior can be viewed from many perspectives, it is this particular vantage point, so artfully selected, that creates a composition of great strength and interest through its layers of imagery. From the perfect framing provided by the columns to the placement of the diamond shapes at the base, the composition draws the viewer into this spatial experience - to embrace the classic beauty and the exquisite details of this serene interior. It is as if the viewer has stopped to gaze at this extraordinary place for a brief moment before exploring what is beyond the frame.”

Stine Bidstrup, Heller Gallery

“The complex shapes of this turquoise blue sculpture by Stine Bidstrup presents glass in an interesting and fanciful form. The overall organic shape is composed of faceted blocks that seem to rise and bloom from the base revealing a delicate linear geometry within the form that reflects the outer shapes. With thoughts of crystals forming amidst a range of ocean blues, this piece is fascinating and sparks the imagination.”

Mel Douglas and Nancy Callan, Traver Gallery

“The motion of patterns sketched across this glass art piece by Mel Douglas and Nancy Callan creates a compelling composition within the simplicity of the round vessel set slightly askew. There is an intense energy radiating from the piece as the horizontal lines swirl, intersect and frame quick vertical strokes. Subdued by a simple black and white palette, the contrast of the interior and exterior surfaces creates additional interest in this magical piece.”

Michela Cattai, Casati Gallery

“There is an essence of purity and calm in the glass sculptural vases by Michela-Cattai - they are beautiful as a collective group or as an individual statement. The rich black finish and soft shadows allow the beauty of the amorphous shapes to be the focal point. The bulbous forms are graceful and a soft irregular texture appears to float horizontally around the piece. The decorative pattern along the top surface softens the plane that seamlessly connects to the organic form of these elegant vases…no flowers needed.”


Robin Thomas

Robin Thomas Design

Robin Thomas is an artist and interior designer with over 20 years of experience and is the founder of Robin Thomas Design & Gallery, a Chicago-based boutique interior design firm and in-studio gallery.

Her interiors capture a certain essence of the individual. With a keen eye for textiles, furnishings, pattern, and color – her designs, in a broad range of styles, are elegant and livable.

The RTD studio gallery features rare and exclusive collections by local and international artisans that is open to clients and interior designers alike.

In addition to her interior design work, Robin is the US agent for the exclusive textile collection Maison Lévy Paris, a luxury fabric house that translates original paintings into unique fabric designs and decorative objects.

Robin earned a BFA with studies in Italy. She is recognized by the ASID for Design Excellence and is active in Chicago’s River North Design District.

As the proud mother of four wonderful sons, Robin enjoys time with her family, travel, and exploring her many artistic interests.



Copyright © Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Produced by Urban Expositions, a Clarion Events Company | Privacy