Friedman Benda will present Wendell Castle, America’s most influential and iconic living designer, in his 5th solo exhibition at the gallery, opening June 22nd, 2017.
Embracing Upheaval is a fearless exploration, encompassing two groups: Block and Free Form. Each can be seen alone or as elements of a larger story, both familiar and a departure. Lyrical and unexpected, the new series continue Castle’s life-long interest in pushing the boundaries of furniture making, and represent Castle’s latest formal exploration into the convergence of sculpture and design.
Free Form series, inspired and informed by the music that has accompanied Wendell throughout his career, recall an abstract line drawn in space. The connection is evident in titles referencing cities known for music, including, Big Easy, Motown and Gotham.
With the Block series, chairs and tables emanate from solid slab-like constructions, forms born of wood, Castle's predominant material throughout his career. With these, Castle suggests metamorphosis with an allusion to classical literature and sculpture.
The Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, will host a second enlarged iteration of the Museum of Art + Design’s 2015/16 exhibition, Wendell Castle: Remastered, opening October 17 –December 31, 2017. This exhibition will include the addition of new vintage and contemporary works, in particular the early seminal work Walnut Sculpture, 1958-59, and the organically formed tri-surface Twist Table from 1972. In June 2018, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas, Castle’s home state, will present concurrent solo exhibitions.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Jennifer Olshin and Wendell Castle.