Wendell Castle - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale Hong Kong Saturday, November 26, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Barry Friedman, New York
    Private Collection, USA
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, Barry Friedman, Ltd., Wendell Castle | Rockin', 6 May - 13 August 2010
    Kansas City, Missouri, Belger Arts Center, Wendell Castle in the 21st Century, 4 March - 3 June 2011
    Charlotte, North Carolina, Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design, 1 September 2012 - 6 January 2013; New York, Museum of Arts and Design, 5 February - 16 June, 2013

  • Literature

    Museum of Arts and Design, Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design, exh. cat., New York, 2012, illustrated p. 102
    Emily Evans Eerdmans, Wendell Castle: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1958-2012, New York, 2014, illustrated p. 403, no. V.66

  • Catalogue Essay

    The bold, dynamic form of the present lot exemplifies Wendell Castle’s career-long exploration of the relationship between form and function in his work. Executed in rich Bubinga wood, the ‘Ghost Rider’ rocking chair’s organic form is pierced by negative space, an expression of Castle’s endeavour and achievement in reconciling the historically disparate genres of furniture and sculpture. Trained as a sculptor, Castle turned to furniture early in his career with the aspiration to invent new forms. Castle has since created a varied sculptural vocabulary expressed through his furniture designs, sketched by hand then executed with meticulous craftsmanship – as evident in the 'Ghost Rider' rocking chair’s sensuous, curvilinear composition. Describing his approach to his work Castle states, 'I always had one ideal – to create furniture that was equal to sculpture aesthetically and would be accepted on the same level as other art forms, by both art critics and the public.' Translating these ideas into wood, Castle’s work encourages a greater engagement from the viewer and ultimately has contributed to the recognition of design as an art form its own right.

    Castle presented 'Ghost Rider' in his 2010 exhibition Rockin’ at Barry Friedman, New York. The exhibition featured twelve unique chairs created from stack-laminated wood. Castle first began experimenting with stack-laminated wood in the 1960s. The intricate engineering process granted Castle greater technical control over his work, allowing him to work with new shapes and scales otherwise limited by traditional woodworking techniques. Castle credits this early work in stack-laminated wood to laying 'the foundation of [his] art' and subsequently that of the 'furniture as art' movement. The 'Ghost Rider' rocking chair’s graceful curves and dynamic volumes demonstrate Castle’s mastery of the process, while reflecting his dedicated exploration of sculptural, organic form in wood.

    Castle's work can be found in the permanent collections of major museums and cultural institutions worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.


Unique 'Ghost Rider' rocking chair

incised 'Castle 10' inside of leg
73.7 x 80 x 194.3 cm. (29 x 31 1/2 x 76 1/2 in.)
Executed in 2010.

HK$1,000,000 - 1,500,000 

Sold for HK$1,250,000

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 27 November 2016