Collection by Kelsey Keith

Wendell Castle's Volumes

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Published to coincide with designer, artist, and visionary Wendell Castle's 80th birthday at the end of 2012, writer Alastair Gordon's biographical monograph of Castle's work is a juicy read, full of hyperbolic forms and insight into the studio of one idiosyncratic thinker. Gordon tells us that "I knew Wendell's work, vaguely, for quite a long time, but became increasingly interested in his biomorphic carved pieces when I was researching another book on psychedelic environments. I saw images of his amazing "Environment for Contemplation" (1969), a womb-like chamber carved from cherry that was part furniture, part sculpture, part architecture, and part hallucination." More on Alastair's journey to discover the man behind the myth; plus, a slideshow of notable Wendell Castle works.

Here, Castle's Chest of Drawers from 1966, so titled because of its resemblance to the human chest cavity. "I got to…
Castle in his Scottsville studio in the 1970s. Alastair Gordon reports, "Last year, I spent a rewarding few days at…
An early piece created when he was a masters student at the University of Kansas, and one of Castle's first…
Seen here, a sinuous rosewood music rack from 1980 along with Castle's original sketches."Castle should be better…
Shown here is a stack laminated walnut coffee table from 1966. Castle, who is still working in 80th year, is, as Gordon…
Douglas Baker, a Rochester-based graphic designer, commissioned Castle to create one of his furniture-as-architecture…
So why is the timing right for a Castle renaissance? Gordon says, "There's a great deal of renewed interest in his work…
Gordon points out that Castle's work from this era presaged the amorphous "blob" design of architects, designers, and…
Here, a shot of the "Fantasy Furniture" exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in early 1966. Though two of…
Wendell Castle: Wandering Forms—Works from 1959 to 1979 by Alastair Gordon, published by Gregory R. Miller & Co., is…
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