Monday, January 22, 2018

New York: Design - Remembering Wendell Castle

Design - Remembering Wendell Castle
“We have lost a giant in the world of design.” Writes Glen Adamson on the Friedman Benda Gallery website.  “Inexhaustibly creative to the last, Wendell Castle was in the midst of preparing a new body of work when he passed away this week, at the age of eighty-five. It was typical of him. Wendell was a man who never stopped dreaming, or making those dreams a reality.”
The Last time I photographed Wendell Castle was at the Friedman Benda Gallery in New York in 2016, above, on the occasion of the Andrea Branzi Interiors exhibition.
Wendell Castle and Marc Benda

Wendell Castle - Ghost Rider  
Rocking Chair – 2010
Barry Friedman Ltd.
“A decade before the concept of “radical design” emerged, he began re-imagining the furniture form at every level. His earliest works were at once sinuous and sculptural, all choreographed curves, not a straight line or right angle to be seen. They were made using traditional joinery, but with highly unconventional cage-like structures and muscular curved components, which he carved from gunstocks, having found a supply of unused blanks at a nearby armament factory.  He made massive bio-morphic tables, capacious seating forms, twisting spiral staircases, un-categorizable pieces that engaged the walls and floor of a room in unconventional ways. While he was operating in the discipline of furniture, he retained the instincts and formal references of sculpture – the work was more indebted to Henry Moore than anything else that was happening then or indeed, had ever happened before in furniture design.
He was also a hugely important ambassador for American craft and design. Soft-spoken and true to his modest midwestern roots, he cut a dashing figure. Always stylish in his candy-colored spectacles, well-tailored jackets and spotless shoes, his quietly confident presence lifted the tone of any gathering.”
Glen Adamson

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