About the Exhibition
Building on a celebrated furniture design career spanning half a century, six new limited edition and unique works by American furniture designer Wendell Castle will be showcased at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris from January 21st through to March 3rd, 2012.
Castle’s work is recognized for its sardonic sense of humour and uniquely sculptural use of materials, including his signature use of stack-laminated wood. His new body of work furthers this tradition of material based design, while also applying his distinctive exploration of volume and shape. Exquisitely crafted in stained ash and walnut wood with a smooth oil finish, the organic, curvilinear forms of this new collection link it to many of his past masterworks. Exploring structural concepts in a sculptural context, a confidence and quickness of gsture suggest a new dimensionality. Traditional in hi sdesign practice, the natural forms develop from hand drawn sketches without the aid of the computer-generated models popular amongst younger designers.
The pieces take form from laminated inch-thick sections, stacked and then sculpted into biomorphic shapes. An ode to his designs from the Sixties and Seventies derived from wood – the lamination process creates a banding effect, revealing a pattern of striation. The formation of these works begins with the selection of the finest timber available, which is carefully glued together and clamped until they harden into a unified whole. The piece is then sculpted, carved and finely sanded in a labourintensive, highly specialized process. More flexible then conventional methods of woodworking, this innovative process allows Castle to make furniture of virtually any size and shape, achieving a striking range of sculptural forms.
While he begins with a specific form in mind, Castle “reads” the wood’s natural gain and approaches each of his piece as a process of discovery. “You begin to have a conversation,” he says. “Unexpected things might happen as I’m digging into the wood.”