Wendell Castle: Wandering Forms

Wendell Castle: Wandering Forms

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Wendell Castle, Wall Table No. 16, 1969. Photograph
by Sherry Griffin. Courtesy of R 20th Century.

October 4, 2012

Wendell Castle
Wandering Forms—Works from 1959–1979

October 20, 2012–February 20, 2013

VIP Preview Benefit: October 19
Public Exhibition Opening: October 20

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877

T 203 438 4519


Wendell Castle: Wandering Forms—Works from 1959–1979
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is pleased to announce Wendell Castle: Wandering Forms—Works from 1959–1979, the first major museum exhibition of the iconic American designer’s work in over twenty years, and the only one to focus exclusively on the period when he defined his inimitable style of ground-breaking sculptural furniture.

The Aldrich will celebrate Wandering Forms with a special preview and benefit event on Friday, October 19, and a public opening on Saturday, October 20. Curated by Evan Snyderman and Alyson Baker and designed by Cooper Joseph Studio, the exhibition will coincide with Castle’s eightieth birthday and be accompanied by an illustrated monograph co-published by The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and Gregory R. Miller & Co., designed by Pandiscio Co., and featuring texts by Alastair Gordon and Evan Snyderman.

The handmade pieces created by Wendell Castle in Rochester, New York, helped shape the American studio furniture movement throughout the 1960s and ’70s, and he remains one of the most important American furniture makers working today. Castle’s exploration of form and function blurred the boundaries between art, craft, and design, forever changing the way we look at furniture. Wandering Forms will survey his early works in wood and fiberglass, along with related archival materials. The exhibition will consist of more than thirty-five objects, including a variety of furniture forms from chairs to tables to lighting; approximately fifty drawings from Castle’s archives; and a selection of ephemera ranging from the artist’s oversized scrapbooks to video clips from his 1966 appearance on the popular TV program To Tell the Truth.

Many items from renowned private collections, not seen by the public in decades, will be presented alongside works from institutions such as the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, New York; and Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin.

Snyderman explains, “During this period, Wendell Castle produced some of the most dynamic work of his career. His artistic output was both prolific and exceptionally innovative, leaving an indelible imprint on the worlds of art and design. During this time, Castle was awarded three National Endowment for the Arts grants, secured a prestigious teaching position, and mounted over fifty exhibitions at major institutions.” Baker adds, “This survey provides a unique opportunity to highlight the convergence of artistic disciplines in Wendell Castle’s work. He has had a profound impact on generations of artists, designers, and artisans, and we are thrilled to present his work at The Aldrich in celebration of his contribution to twentieth-century art and design.”

The Private Exhibition Reception and Makers Market Preview on Friday, October 19, from 5 to 9pm, is a benefit event for The Aldrich. Guests will enjoy cocktails, canapés, and a first look at the exhibition with the artist and curators, plus a first opportunity to purchase the curated selection of skillfully crafted products available at Makers Market.

The Public Exhibition Opening for Wendell Castle: Wandering Forms on Saturday, October 20, will feature family activities from 11am to 5pm, a panel discussion and book signing from 2 to 5pm, exhibition tours starting at 2 and 4pm, and the Makers Market from 11am to 5pm. The exhibition will remain on view through February 20, 2013.

Wendell Castle
The iconic wood and fiberglass masterpieces of American designer/craftsman Wendell Castle (b. 1932) are recognized for superb craftsmanship and whimsically organic forms, and he is renowned for developing original techniques for shaping solid, stack-laminated wood. Castle was born in Kansas and received a BFA from the University of Kansas in Industrial Design and an MFA in sculpture, graduating in 1961. He moved to Rochester, New York, in 1962 to teach at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Craftsmen as an associate professor of furniture design, and in the late 1960s he established his studio in Scottsville, New York.

Castle’s numerous accolades include a 1994 Visionaries of the American Craft Movement award sponsored by the American Craft Museum and a 1997 Gold Medal from the American Craft Council. In 2007, he received the Modernism Lifetime Achievement Award from the Brooklyn Museum. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, among others. His work is included in many museum collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Detroit Art Institute.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, The Aldrich is dedicated to fostering innovative artists whose ideas and interpretations of the world around us serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking. The Aldrich is one of the few independent, non-collecting contemporary art museums in the United States, and the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art. It is one of 20 museums in Connecticut and 318 art museums in the country to be accredited by the American Association of Museums. The Aldrich is located at 258 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877. All exhibitions and programs are handicapped accessible. Free on-site parking. Regular Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 5pm; with extended summer hours every Saturday between July 5 and September 3, from 10am to 5pm. For more information call 203 438 4519 or visit aldrichart.org.

The Aldrich is supported, in part, by the Connecticut Office of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works. Wendell Castle: Wandering Forms—Works from 1959–1979 is sponsored by The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, with additional support provided by the Connecticut Office of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works; the Lindemann Collection, Miami Beach; The O’Grady Foundation; R 20th Century; Sotheby’s; and Stebich Ridder Int’l, Inc. In-kind support provided by Cooper Joseph Studio and Mariano Brothers, Specialty Moving. Media support provided by Morris Media Group, publishers of Ridgefield Magazine, and WSHU Public Radio Group.

Contact: Pamela Ruggio, T 203 438 4519 / pruggio [​at​] aldrichart.org




Wendell Castle: Wandering Forms to open at The Aldrich
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The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
October 4, 2012

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