Friedman Benda will open Wendell Castle: A New Environment, January 10 – February 9, 2013. Castle has produced a major work – an installation of stack-laminated pieces spanning two-stories. Inviting dreamers to imagine, Castle incorporates seating pieces, a table, a lamp, and a spiral staircase leading to a nest resembling a tree house. A culmination of Castle’s own history of ideas and the resolution of formidable technical challenges, this dynamic environment offers Castle’s public a bewitching play of abstraction, function, and fantasy.
Self-referential and set into its own floor, the environment is a room without walls, a gesamtkunswerk, where elements relate to each other, invite interaction, and are rife with repeating aesthetic motifs.
In 1969, Castle produced an “environment for contemplation,” a stack-laminated pod-like chamber with a hinged door where one could ensconce and reflect. The new environment, 43 years later was exponentially more complicated to craft; the spiral staircase for example, appears to have regular step intervals but in fact will be built on a zigzag so that it can be hooked into the nest above. With this environment, the formula of the sixties work is reversed. Castle opens his work up to the public, seeking to redefine and re-set relationships.