While it may seem simple, Robert Stadler’s ‘Anywhere’ lighting series is quite the game-changer. ‘It’s an emancipation from the confines of the domestic space,’ Stadler says. ‘It frees the lamp from its static position.’
These are big claims for the slim carbon fibre levers that balance a paper-lantern Akari fixture on one end and a large punctuated orb on the other (a handle of sorts to move the light). But it’s true — the fixture no longer is affixed to a singular spot, nor is the light diffused onto one section of a space.
Now, Stadler’s longtime collaborator, Carpenters Workshop Gallery (CWG) is showing the range of this collection in its New York space. The show's title – ‘Weight Class’ – is a reference to the boxing term that denotes spectrum of size that too can applied to the offerings in Stadler’s self-curated show, which includes shelves, consoles and tables. The title also metaphorically connotes balance, and looking at ‘Anywhere #2’, especially with an oversized Akari 33N shade, the eye quickly sees the tension of equilibrium at work.
‘Cut Paste #7’ onyx coffee table, 2015
‘I was amazed by such a talent, brightness and power. It’s exactly what we love which is functional sculpture,’ recalls Julien Lombrail, who founded CWG alongside Loïc Le Gaillard; both have been working Stadler since 2008. It’s the guys behind the pioneering ‘functional sculpture’ gallery that called Stadler after seeing his work because, ‘whether what Robert does is art, design, collectible design or functional sculpture, it’s the most sophisticated expression because it is difficult.’
‘He’s a punk dandy!’, exclaims Lombrail. ‘There’s a reason for everything in Robert’s work; it might look simple but it’s like highly sophisticated without being pretentious.’ Along with the Noguchi Museum and Collective Design Fair, CWG has triangulated efforts to make this a ‘moment’ for Stadler.
The Noguchi Museum and CWG will be unveiling Secret Garden, an immersive installation of Stadler’s at Collective. As Lombrail says, ‘You have to fit the art box, have to be creative, thoughtful, meaningful, part of the history and not repeat something; but at the same time is the functional side. You have to make it work. That’s a big challenge.’
For the upcoming week where the world’s sophisticated art set comes to town, the time is ripe to expand common knowledge about Stadler. ‘We want to give Robert the attention so this way collectors can really get it,’ explains Lombrail. ‘As soon as you get what his work is about, you’re in love. But it’s not something that’s immediate, because it’s subtle.’