While the work of Wendell Castle, or the Dean of American Furniture Studio as he has ofent been called, was largely examined in the occasion of his 80th birthday three years ago, an upcoming show at the Museum of Arts and Design, "Wendell Castle Remastered" comes to offer a fresh examination of his work from the craftsmanship/techniques/technology point of view, in conjunction with the Museum's mission. 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. 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. I bring here a first look at some of the pieces that will be included in this anticipated show. All photographs courtesy of MAD, Friedman Benda, and the artist.
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