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Leap of Faith: Wendell Castle exhibits at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris
Wendell Castle, Wind Cries, 2013. Stained ash with oil finish, H 83 L 176 W 106 cm. Unique. Photo: Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery.
PARIS.- Every angle of a Wendell Castle piece reveals new information. Viewed from afar, these hybrid forms seem to defy categorization. The voluminous organic curves that appear to grow from the floor itself are at once inviting and perplexing – what is our relation to the piece?

In his latest series, Leap of Faith, Wendell Castle revisits the paradoxical relationship of formal innovation to function, continuing his exploration of stack-lamination, a technique that simultaneously acknowledges the inherent characteristics of the material while creating boundless work, surprising sculptural pieces, devoid of any pre-conceived notions of form.

Leap of Faith capitalizes on Castle’s most recent trajectory – incorporating increasingly complex volumes into his additive process. As he explains, at the beginning of my career “I did it the way a sculptor would do it, like carving it out of a big lump of wood. But since that big lump of wood wasn’t readily available, I constructed a lump of wood using stack-lamination.” This early interest in building volumes by gluing together multiple timbers into large, monolithic blocks is taken to a new level as today, he further joins these blocks into large, multi-dimensional bodies. The recent works reveal greater scale and new forms that, despite their often-organic shapes, would be impossible in nature.

Although the functionality of the pieces is often obscured by the flowing complexity of their forms, the consistent wood surfaces, fastidious craftsmanship of the lamination, and interconnectedness of the design, allows each work to retain its identity as a singular piece of furniture.

Wendell Castle’s work is recognized for its sardonic sense of humour and uniquely sculptural use of materials. He has continually reinvented himself for half a century, approaching 80 years old with no signs of slowing down. Often credited as the founding father of the American Crafts movement, and the Art furniture movement, changing the way we view furniture and expanding the possibilities of design and art, Castle has redesigned sculpture and design by seamlessly fusing the two into one discipline. Born in Kansas in 1932, Wendell Castle received a B.F.A. from the University of Kansas in Industrial Design in 1958 and an M.F.A. in Sculpture, graduating in 1961. He moved to Rochester, New York to teach at the School of American Craftsmen and established a permanent studio in the area, which is still operating today.

The artist creates unique pieces that often go beyond the traditional boundaries of design, placing him in a niche that has puzzled those wanting to make a specific distinction between designers and sculptors. 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 fibreglass, experienced at a high level of craftsmanship.

He is now amongst the pantheon of great contemporary designers, whose work can be found in the permanent collections of over 40 museums and cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Museum of Modern Art in New York and The White House, Washington.

Today's News

October 27, 2013

"Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700-1900" opens at the Victoria & Albert Museum

"Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis" on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

LACMA presents a new photography exhibition showcasing the Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection

Passport to Paris will take visitors on a Parisian voyage through 300 years of art history

Lee Harvey Oswald's wedding ring sold for $108,000 at NH-based auction house RR Auction

"Degas, Renoir, and Poetic Pastels" exhibition opens at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Exhibition of collages by renowned architect Richard Meier opens at Galerie Gmurzynska Zurich

Only UK exhibition of Viviane Sassen's highly distinctive work opens in Edinburgh

On the 40th anniversary of Bruce Lee's death, an archive of 26 of his items comes to auction

Leap of Faith: Wendell Castle exhibits at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris

Folkert de Jong exhibits bronze sculptures at Middelheim Museum in Antwerp

Leslie Hindman's 20th Century Decorative Arts Sale realizes $1.23 million

How Do You Frame a Masterpiece? Huntington's Blue Boy to get a new frame

First solo exhibition in a museum by Los Angeles-based artist Linda Stark opens at Berkeley Art Museum

Los Angeles-based artist Richard Kraft presents a new body of work at the Laguna Art Museum

Vancouver Art Gallery presents the first major survey exhibition of iconic Haida artist Charles Edenshaw

Val Sears' "In Passing" opens at Alison Milne Gallery in Toronto

Survey celebrates Queensland photographer Richard Stringer

Lyon & Turnbull sell the Mother of Pearl Ewer owned by Lord Curzon, Viceroy to India for £70,850

Nationalmuseum and Swedavia bring art to the airport

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- First solo exhibition by the American artist Mickalene Thomas in Belgium opens at Galerie Nathalie Obadia

2.- Israel accidentally finds ancient mosaic that served as pavement for a courtyard in a villa

3.- The address of Johannes Vermeer's the Little Street discovered by Rijksmuseum curator

4.- The nine lives of Russia's Hermitage cats that root out unwanted guests: Rodents

5.- Robbers make off with masterpieces by Rubens and Tintoretto from museum in Verona

6.- 17th century letters at Museum of Communication reveal refugees 'sense of loss'

7.- New museum dedicated to the artist Mu Xin opens in Zhejiang Province, China

8.- Who are the most prolific art collectors in the US today?

9.- Rubens House brings newly discovered study for a portrait by Van Dyck to Antwerp

10.- "The Nude in the XX and XXI century" curated by Jane Neal opens at Sotheby's S/2 London

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