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A Fantastical Furniture Gallery for Deep-Pocketed Collectors

An avant-garde furniture gallery pops up in San Francisco, bringing its weirdly wonderful pieces out to play.


Carpenters Workshop Gallery founders Julien Lombrail and Loic Le Gaillard. 

Studio Job, Big Ben (Aftermath) clock (2009–14; bronze, brass, steel, aluminum, and Verde Guatemala marble with 24-karat gilding, silver leaf, hand paintings, handblown glass, Westminster clockworks and gong, and LED fittings).

(1 of 14)

Pierre Jeanneret, Upholstered Sofa (1958; teak, cowhide).

(2 of 14)


Johanna Grawunder, Mini-Halfpipe light sculpture (2012; steel, LED).

(3 of 14)

Charles Trevelyan, Aspect III end table (2016; bronze).

(4 of 14)

Ingrid Donat, Table Basse Koumba (6 Plaques) (2016; bronze).

(5 of 14)

Sebastian Brajkovic, Lathe Lamp Dark Grey (2011; anodized aluminum).

(6 of 14)

Vincenzo De Cotiis, DC 1606 chandelier (2016; tubular brass, neon light).

(7 of 14)

Studio Drift, Fragile Future 3.14 light sculpture (2015; dandelion seeds, phosphor bronze, LED, Perspex).

(8 of 14)

Rick Owens, Curial (Alabaster) chair (2013; alabaster).

(9 of 14)

Maarten Baas, Grandfather Clock Self Portrait (2015; welded patinated brass and bronze, digital equipment).

(10 of 14)

Random International, Swarm Study X light sculpture (2016; LED, brass rods, custom electronics, Corian, sound and motion sensors).

(11 of 14)

Ingrid Donat, Buffet Cisco (2015; bronze).

(12 of 14)

Nacho Carbonell, Table Cocoon 12 (2015; steel frame, metal mesh, Paverpol mix).

(13 of 14)

Frederik Molenschot, Cosmos Life 4 light sculpture (2016; bronze, LED).

(14 of 14)


It's clearly a clock, as it does the all-important thing that clocks must do: It accurately tells the time. But that’s pretty much where the similarity to other clocks ends. In Grandfather Clock Self Portrait, by Maarten Baas, the clock face displays a digital video of the artist drawing and erasing the hour and minute hands as each minute passes. It appears as though Baas himself is trapped inside—although happily, as he sips champagne while he marks the time with a jaunty nod of his head and casually sketches the clock hands with a black marker. Baas has been described as an “author designer,” a clunky attempt to capture the line between art and design that he deftly straddles. Categorizable or not, he is part of an experimental group of creators putting forth fine art you can use—if you can afford it, that is. A new pop-up at 836M Gallery in Jackson Square brings together some of the biggest names on the international art-meets-design scene, resulting in a fantastical furniture gallery for deep-pocketed collectors.

Carpenters Workshop Gallery has been the place to find collectable design since founders Julien Lombrail and Loic Le Gaillard opened their first space, in London, in 2006. With subsequent locations in Paris and New York, it makes its West Coast debut in San Francisco with the four-month pop-up, which opens September 28 and runs through January 17. Visitors get to experience pieces including Fragile Future 3.14, by Studio Drift—the Dutch artists glued thousands of individual dandelion puffballs to LEDs, lending them an ethereal glow as they sprout from bronze stems—a side table and light wrapped in a mesh cocoon, by Spanish designer Nacho Carbonell (Brad Pitt is a fan and collector), and Baas’s grandfather clock.

And while the show will pack up in January, gallery director Ashlee Harrison hints that it won’t be gone for long. “California has been undergoing a cultural renaissance, from Los Angeles to San Francisco,” she says. “Timing is everything, and the time is most certainly now…. Let’s just say you will be seeing more of us on the West Coast.” Carpenters Workshop Gallery Pop-Up, Sept. 28– Jan. 17, 2018, 836M Gallery


Originally published in the October issue of San Francisco

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