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Bennet Schlesinger and Sara French at Stanley’s


A new gallery in Chinatown has lit up Chung King Road, literally. In their second show, Stanley’s has paired artists Bennet Schlesinger ceramic lamp pieces with Sara French’s papier-mache clocks. Each artist’s contribution brings innovation to utilitarian form — Schlesinger’s lamps sprout out of clean vase-like ceramic forms, their shades made with paper pulled taught around twisting bamboo frames. French’s clocks, molded into the silhouette of flowers or keyholes, are playfully exuberant — some of the clocks include shapes or symbols instead of numbers allowing for a whimsical interpretation of time.

The nascent gallery will continue to have a specific focus on artists with craft-based practices and is driven to exhibit work that has often been ignored in the contemporary art world. The gallerist told me in an email that “furniture, lamps, stuffed animals, and toys” might share space with more traditional art mediums like sculpture and painting. In line with this philosophy, Schlesinger and French prove that the utilitarian objects that we interact with daily can be whimsically sculptural, closing the fraught gap between art and design.

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Photo: Bennet Schlesinger and Sara French at Stanley’s. Image courtesy of Stanley’s. Photo by  Victor Prieto.