is perhaps best known as the erstwhile model and muse of David Hockney, whom he met when he was a young art student in London in the late 1960s. But for the last 26 years, Schlesinger's focus has been on creating large-scale ceramic sculptures in his New York City studio. Now, a selection of his work, along with a number of newly issued prints from his charming 2003 book, , are on view at the Duke & Duke Gallery in Los Angeles.
The sculptures are essentially abstract, but with strong references to classical shapes. "I like exploring the form language of ancient vessels," says Schlesinger, "and trying to twist that and push it in different ways." He's also "fascinated with making new glazes," he says, so much so that he typically uses each formula only once. The result is a wide range of colors and textures on an imposing collection of pieces—some over six feet tall.
Duke & Duke is owned by interior designer , who opened the Melrose Avenue gallery in early 2011. "I'm a huge fan of Peter's work," says Smith. "I met him about a year and a half ago. First I bought one piece, then more, and then we starting talking about doing a show." Initially, Schlesinger wanted to include just the pottery, but Smith convinced him to include the photographs. The prints from Checkered Past reveal an insider's view of what—and who—made London swing, with candid shots of such celebrities and trendsetters as Cecil Beaton, Paloma Picasso, Twiggy, Manolo Blahnik, and more. "It's such an interesting period—I'm sort of obsessed with it," says Smith. "I was a kid back then, and have a romantic vision of that era."
"Peter Schlesinger: Sculpture and Photography," Duke & Duke, Los Angeles, through March 16, 2012;