Wendell Castle
Best Leg Forward
21st Jan 2012 - 3rd Mar 2012
Monday - Saturday
10am - 7pm
Carpenters Workshop Gallery
54 Rue De La Verrerie 75004
Paris

Building on a celebrated furniture design career spanning half a century, six new limited edition and unique works by American furniture designer Wendell Castle will be showcased at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris from January 21st through to March 3rd, 2012.

Castle’s work is recognized for its sardonic sense of humour and uniquely sculptural use of materials, including his signature use of stack-laminated wood. His new body of work furthers this tradition of material based design, while also applying his distinctive exploration of volume and shape. Exquisitely crafted in stained ash and walnut wood with a smooth oil finish, the organic, curvilinear forms of this new collection link it to many of his past masterworks. Exploring structural concepts in a sculptural context, a confidence and quickness of gsture suggest a new dimensionality. Traditional in hi sdesign practice, the natural forms develop from hand drawn sketches without the aid of the computer-generated models popular amongst younger designers.

The pieces take form from laminated inch-thick sections, stacked and then sculpted into biomorphic shapes. An ode to his designs from the Sixties and Seventies derived from wood – the lamination process creates a banding effect, revealing a pattern of striation. The formation of these works begins with the selection of the finest timber available, which is carefully glued together and clamped until they harden into a unified whole. The piece is then sculpted, carved and finely sanded in a labourintensive, highly specialized process. More flexible then conventional methods of woodworking, this innovative process allows Castle to make furniture of virtually any size and shape, achieving a striking range of sculptural forms.

While he begins with a specific form in mind, Castle “reads” the wood’s natural gain and approaches each of his piece as a process of discovery. “You begin to have a conversation,” he says. “Unexpected things might happen as I’m digging into the wood.”

Selection of Works
Wendell Castle

Born in Kansas in 1932, Wendell Castle received two degrees from the University of Kansas, one in industrial design in 1958 and the other in sculpture in 1961. He moved to Rochester, New York to teach at the School for American Crafts and established a permanent studio in the area that is still in operation today. He has continually reinvented himself for nearly six decades.

Often credited as the founding father of the American crafts movement, Castle has redefined sculpture and design by seamlessly merging the two into one discipline. He creates unique pieces that blur the distinction between design and sculpture. Castle’s organic and whimsical approach to sculpture incorporates his own invented technique of carving into stacked laminated wood known as lamination. His furniture designs for residential clients, public spaces, and a number of churches represent a unique exploration of the qualities and possibilities of wood and fiberglass.

His work can be found in the permanent collections of more than forty museums and cultural institutions, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the White House in Washington, D.C. Moreover, he has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including four National Endowment for the Arts grants and the Modernism Lifetime Achievement Award from the Brooklyn Museum in 2007. 

2007
/ Lifetime Achievement Award, Brooklyn Museum of Art, USA.

2003
/ Outstanding Achievement Award, The National Association of Schools of Art &
Design, Los Angeles, USA.

2002
/ Distinguished Achievement Award, University of Kansas School of Fine Arts,
Manhattan, USA.

1999
/ Master of the Medium, The James Renwick Alliance of The National Museum of
American Art, Washington, USA.

1994
/ Visionaries of the American Craft Movement, American Craft Museum, USA.

1988
/ Visual Artists Fellowship Grant, National Endowment for the Arts, USA.

1979
/ Honorary Degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, Sculptor/Designer, Maryland Institute of Art, USA.

1976
/ National Endowment for the Arts Grant(s), Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation
Grant, USA.

1973
/ National Endowment for the Arts Grant(s), Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation
Grant, USA.


LITERATURE (SELECTION)

2010
/ Barry Friedman, ‘Wendell Castle, Rockin’, Barry Friedman Ltd. And Friedman Benda
LLC.

2009
/ Miller, Judith, ‘Chairs’, London: Conran Octopus Ltd.

2005
/ Albrecht, Donald, ‘Auto Plastic: Wendell Castle’, New York: R 20th Century.

2001
/ Busch, Akiko and Paul J. Smith, ‘Objects for Use: Handmade by Design’, New York:
Harry H. Abrams Inc.

1999
/ Fiell, Charlotte and Peter, ‘Design and the 20th Century’, Germany: Taschen.


MUSEUM REFERENCES
Addison Gallery Of American Art / Andover / USA
Art Institute Of Chicago / Chicago / USA
Art Museum Project / Dearborn / USA
Burchfield-Penney Art Center / Buffalo / USA
Charles A. Wustum Museum Of Fine Arts / Racine / USA
Delaware Art Museum / Wilmington / USA
Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum / Ridgefield / USA
Belger Art Center / Kansas City / USA
Brooklyn Museum / New York City / USA
Carnegie Museum Of Art (Cmao) / Pittsburgh / USA
Cincinnati Art Museum / Cincinnati / USA
Delaware Art Museum (Delart) / Wilmington / USA
Design Museum Gent / Gent / Belgium
Detroit Institute Of Arts (Dia) / Detroit / USA
Everson Museum Of Art / New York City / USA
Fuller Craft Museum / Brockton / USA
High Museum Of Art / Atlanta / USA
Hunter Museum Of Art / Chattanooga / USA
Ithaca College Art Museum / Nyc / USA
Johnson Museum Of Art / Nyc / USA
Kirkland Museum Of Fine & Decorative Art / Denver / USA
Lannan Foundation Collection / Los Angeles / USA
Manchester Art Gallery / Manchester / UK
Marianna Kistler Beach Museum Of Art / Manhattan / USA
Memorial Art Gallery / Rochester / USA
Metropolitan Museum Of Art (Met) / New York City / USA
Milwaukee Art Museum / Milwaukee / USA
Minneapolis Institute Of Arts / Minneapolis / USA
Mint Museum Of Craft + Design / Charlotte / USA
Mobile Museum Of Fine Arts / Mobile / USA
Museum Of Art / St. Louis / USA
Museum Of Art And Design (Madmuseum) / New York City / USA
Museum Of Decorative Arts (Mbam) / Montreal / Canada
Museum Of Fine Arts (Mfa) / Boston / USA
Museum Of Fine Arts (Mfah) / Houston / USA
Museum Of Modern Art (Moma) / New York City / USA
Nordenfieldske Kunstindustrimiseet / Oslo / Norway
Palm Springs Art Museum (Psmuseum) / Palm Spring / USA
Philadelphia Museum Of Art (Philamuseum) / Philadelphia / USA
Racine Art Museum / Racine / USA
Renwick Gallery, The National Museum Of American Art / Washington DC / USA
Rochester Institute Of Technology / Rochester / USA
Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts / Richmond / USA
Smithsonian American Art Museum / Washington DC / USA
Spencer Museum Of Art / Lawrence / USA
Toledo Museum Of Art / Toledo / USA
University Of New Hampshire Art Museum / Durham / USA
University Of Utah Art Gallery / Salt Lake City / USA
Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts / Richmond / USA
Wichita Art Museum / Wichita / USA
The White House / Washington DC / USA
2010
/ Barry Friedman, ‘Wendell Castle, Rockin’, Barry Friedman Ltd. And Friedman Benda
LLC.

2009
/ Miller, Judith, ‘Chairs’, London: Conran Octopus Ltd.

2005
/ Albrecht, Donald, ‘Auto Plastic: Wendell Castle’, New York: R 20th Century.

2001
/ Busch, Akiko and Paul J. Smith, ‘Objects for Use: Handmade by Design’, New York:
Harry H. Abrams Inc.

1999
/ Fiell, Charlotte and Peter, ‘Design and the 20th Century’, Germany: Taschen.


Addison Gallery Of American Art / Andover / USA
Art Institute Of Chicago / Chicago / USA
Art Museum Project / Dearborn / USA
Burchfield-Penney Art Center / Buffalo / USA
Charles A. Wustum Museum Of Fine Arts / Racine / USA
Delaware Art Museum / Wilmington / USA
Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum / Ridgefield / USA
Belger Art Center / Kansas City / USA
Brooklyn Museum / New York City / USA
Carnegie Museum Of Art (Cmao) / Pittsburgh / USA
Cincinnati Art Museum / Cincinnati / USA
Delaware Art Museum (Delart) / Wilmington / USA
Design Museum Gent / Gent / Belgium
Detroit Institute Of Arts (Dia) / Detroit / USA
Everson Museum Of Art / New York City / USA
Fuller Craft Museum / Brockton / USA
High Museum Of Art / Atlanta / USA
Hunter Museum Of Art / Chattanooga / USA
Ithaca College Art Museum / Nyc / USA
Johnson Museum Of Art / Nyc / USA
Kirkland Museum Of Fine & Decorative Art / Denver / USA
Lannan Foundation Collection / Los Angeles / USA
Manchester Art Gallery / Manchester / UK
Marianna Kistler Beach Museum Of Art / Manhattan / USA
Memorial Art Gallery / Rochester / USA
Metropolitan Museum Of Art (Met) / New York City / USA
Milwaukee Art Museum / Milwaukee / USA
Minneapolis Institute Of Arts / Minneapolis / USA
Mint Museum Of Craft + Design / Charlotte / USA
Mobile Museum Of Fine Arts / Mobile / USA
Museum Of Art / St. Louis / USA
Museum Of Art And Design (Madmuseum) / New York City / USA
Museum Of Decorative Arts (Mbam) / Montreal / Canada
Museum Of Fine Arts (Mfa) / Boston / USA
Museum Of Fine Arts (Mfah) / Houston / USA
Museum Of Modern Art (Moma) / New York City / USA
Nordenfieldske Kunstindustrimiseet / Oslo / Norway
Palm Springs Art Museum (Psmuseum) / Palm Spring / USA
Philadelphia Museum Of Art (Philamuseum) / Philadelphia / USA
Racine Art Museum / Racine / USA
Renwick Gallery, The National Museum Of American Art / Washington DC / USA
Rochester Institute Of Technology / Rochester / USA
Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts / Richmond / USA
Smithsonian American Art Museum / Washington DC / USA
Spencer Museum Of Art / Lawrence / USA
Toledo Museum Of Art / Toledo / USA
University Of New Hampshire Art Museum / Durham / USA
University Of Utah Art Gallery / Salt Lake City / USA
Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts / Richmond / USA
Wichita Art Museum / Wichita / USA
The White House / Washington DC / USA
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