Wendell Castle
Remastered
20th Oct 2015 - 28th Feb 2016
Carpenters Workshop Gallery
4 Albemarle Street - W1S 4GA
London

Wendell Castle Remastered will be the first museum exhibition to examine the digitally crafted works of Wendell Castle, acclaimed figure of the American art furniture movement. A master furniture maker, designer, sculptor, and educator, Castle is now in the sixth decade of a prolific career that began in 1958—one that parallels the emergence and growth of the American studio craft movement.

In this solo exhibition, Castle casts a critical eye toward the first decade of his own artistic production by creating a new body of work that revisits his groundbreaking achievements of the 1960s through a contemporary lens. This self-reflective meditation examines a crucial period during which Castle’s sculptural practices came to define his pivotal role as a leader in the field, and set the foundation for his longevity.

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.

Today, even though Castle’s approach to furniture making has evolved through his use of these 21st-century digital tools, it remains rooted in handcraftsmanship, and the same imagination that liberated him from the language of traditional joinery, thus enabling him to work in a process more analogous to sculpture. His early innovations include the first use of stack lamination in furniture, the creation of volumetric forms with a sculptural presence in the round, a vocabulary of softly organic shapes, and the invention of new furniture hybrids. Wendell Castle Remastered will explore Castle’s increased capacity to address these themes in different ways that are now made possible through computer-mediated technologies.

Wendell Castle Remastered is organized by MAD’s Marcia Docter Senior Curator Ronald T. Labaco and Samantha De Tillio, Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager.  The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated, full-color catalogue published by the Museum of Arts and Design and The Artist Book Foundation.

Support for Wendell Castle Remastered is provided by Friedman Benda, Autodesk, the Anne and Ronald Abramson Family Foundation, Ann F. Kaplan and Robert Fippinger, Susan Steinhauser and Dan Greenberg, the Margaret and Daniel Loeb – Third Point Foundation, Jane and Leonard Korman, Fleur Bresler, Anita and Ronald Wornick, Diane and Marc A. Grainer, George L. Lindemann, and the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester.

Additional thanks to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the Official Airline of MAD.

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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