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Wendell Castle: About Time Opens at The Spencer Museum of Art
Wendell Castle, born 1932, Emporia, Kansas, Time Table, 2000, gilded jelutong, copper, ebony & mahogany veneer, gold-plated brass, clock works. Collection of the artist.

LAWRENCE, KS.- American furniture artist and sculptor Wendell Castle, a KU alumnus, will install five of his exquisite clocks in the museum’s Central Court as part of the Spencer’s fall 2008 focus on concepts of time in visual art. Wendell Castle: About Timewill be accompanied by a book featuring an interview with Castle and a major essay on Castle’s art by Charles C. Eldredge, KU’s Hall Distinguished Professor of American Art and Culture. As well, Castle will give an artist’s talk Thursday, October 2, at 7 PM. Wendell Castle: About Time is supported by Emprise Bank and The World Company. The publication accompanying the exhibition is supported by the Price R. and Flora A. Reid Foundation.

In his essay entitled “Of Time and Materials: The Art of Wendell Castle,” Dr. Eldredge writes, “More than by traditional clock- or cabinetmakers, Castle has…been inspired by scientists, especially Alan Lightman whose Einstein’s Dreams, ruminations on the concept of time, is often cited by the artist in discussion. Unlike the traditional clockmaker’s concern with accurate timekeeping, or the contemporary furniture maker’s with artfully designed and constructed objects, Castle is intrigued by the scientific concept of time. ‘They (scientists) think about things like, time doesn’t move in a consistent way,’ he explained. ‘Actually, it moves in fits and starts.’ Or at variable rates, depending on velocity, or altitude, etcetera. ‘If you’re moving at the speed of light, time will stand still; if you’re moving very fast, it slows down. If you live on top of a mountain, you’ll live longer than if you live at sea level; time is different, it will move more slowly.’”

About Time was organized by Lara Kuykendall, the Spencer’s 2007-2008 European and American Art Intern, and Susan Earle, Curator of European and American Art. About Time marks the second of two exhibitions this fall at the Spencer that contemplate time and its representation in visual culture; the other, Time/Frame, opened in August and assembles works from the SMA collection from North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and across various media, to consider how time is manifested visually in art and material culture. Petah Coyne, Andy Warhol, Jan van de Velde II, Diane Arbus, Preston Singletary, Larry Schwarm, Marcantonio Raimondi, Watanabe Gentai, and Elliott Erwitt are among the artists whose work is featured in the exhibition. For more information on Time/Frame please visit:

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