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Tim Andreadis
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Published: 7 December 2015

The Inspired Design of Wendell Castle

The 1960s was a period of exploration and experimentation in furniture design that witnessed the emergence of a new generation of craftsmen uninhibited in their ambitions to push the boundaries between art and craft and elevate the status of their works beyond mere utilitarian measures.  When Wendell Castle began working in the late 1950s, a movement to create artistic furniture among the nation’s most promising talent was still nascent.   Working in Rochester, New York, and teaching at the School for American Craftsmen, Wendell Castle began experimenting with a process in which he glued multiple planks of wood into a larger structure, from which he then cut-out a sculptural masterpiece.  These stack-laminated works for the 1960s and 70s remain among the most coveted by Castle collectors and helped to establish his signature style.  Still working today, Wendell Castle continues to experiment with technology and form and is currently receiving a fresh look at his newest oeuvre at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.  The show, entitled Wendell Castle Remastered, examines the artist’s digital creations.  From MAD: “Based on a selection of historically significant works chosen by MAD curator Ron Labaco, Castle will produce new works through his latest practice of combining handcraftsmanship—such as carving, rasping, and finishing—with digital technologies—including 3D scanning, 3D modeling, and computer-controlled milling. These new works will be installed in dialogue with the earlier pieces that inspired them.”

Freeman's specially curated sale of midcentury modern design, graphic and abstract art, and contemporary studio works,  Art + Design is highlighted by works of exceptional design, including Wall Mirror, a work by Wendell Castle. This mirror, commissioned from the artist in 2000, is part of a body of work he created in the 1990s and early 2000s, that incorporate a crackled-lacquer finish with his signature sculptural forms.

Castle was born in Kansas in 1932 and received a B.F.A. from the University of Kansas in Industrial Design in 1958 and an M.F.A. in sculpture in 1961.  Castle’s works can be found in over fifty mumseums nation-wide, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Brooklyn Museum, the Renwick, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Freeman's is pleased to be offering his inspired design, Wall Mirror, in our March 20, 2016 auction Art + Design.

Are You Mad About Modern?

Browse the Art + Design Auction Catalogue

To be offered 03/20/16: Wendell Castle, Wall Mirror, 2000, Estimate $7,000-9,000; pictured with

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