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Wendell Castle Remastered

October 20 2015 - February 28 2016

Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York, NY

Installation view of 'Wendell Castle Remastere...

Installation view of 'Wendell Castle Remastered,' 2015. Photo by Butcher Walsh. Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York

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About the Exhibition
Wendell Castle Remastered will be the first museum exhibition to examine the digitally crafted works of Wendell Castle, acclaimed figure of the American art furniture movement. A master furniture maker, designer, sculptor, and educator, Castle is now in the sixth decade of a prolific career that began in 1958—one that parallels the emergence and growth of the American studio craft movement.


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, half a century later, in direct response to his groundbreaking achievements of the 1960s. This self-reflective meditation examines a critical period during which Castle’s inventive, sculptural practices came to define his pivotal role as a disruptor to the handcrafted furniture-making tradition and set the foundation for his longevity in the field.


Today, Castle’s approach to furniture making has evolved through his use of 21st-century digital tools, but remains rooted in the same desire to push the boundaries of tradition that sparked his career. His early innovations include the first use of stack lamination in furniture, the creation of more 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.


Based on a selection of 12 key works chosen by Marcia Docter Curator Ronald T. Labaco, Castle will present 14 new riffs on his own canon with the assistance of new digital technologies, such as 3D scanning, 3D modeling, and computer-controlled milling—a digital reassessment that suggests a “remastering” of those classic designs. These new works will be installed side by side, in dialogue with the earlier pieces that inspired them.


Wendell Castle Remastered is organized by MAD’s Marcia Docter Curator Ronald T. Labaco and Samantha De Tillio, Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager.  The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated, full color catalogue.


Support for Wendell Castle Remastered is provided by Susan Steinhauser and Dan Greenberg.

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