Wendell Castle - Design New York Wednesday, June 6, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner, 2005

  • Literature

    Alastair Gordon, Wendell Castle Wandering Forms--Works from 1959-1979, exh. cat., Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, New York, 2012, illustrated pp. 196-97
    Emily Evans Eerdmans, Wendell Castle, A Catalogue Raisonné 1958-2012, New York, 2014, illustrated p. 97

  • Catalogue Essay

    While the present "Pedestal" chair was acquired directly from Wendell Castle by the current owner in 2005, it appears in images of dealer and curator Lee Nordness's Upper East Side living room from circa 1967. In addition to the chair, for Nordness's residence Castle created a monumental sculptural sofa, a leaf-shaped coffee table, and a floor lamp. Castle was 35 years old at the time, teaching furniture design at the School for American Craftsmen at the Rochester Institute of Technology. With this living room, as well as a dining room created for Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Baker of Rochester, New York, Castle had embarked on an important new phase of his career, re-envisioning interiors as landscapes of massive sculptural furniture. Following this commission, in April 1968 Nordness exhibited ten of Castle's designs at his namesake New York gallery. Castle described his process for a 1968 New York Times feature on the occasion of this exhibition: "I begin with an idea and sketch of what I want. Each piece of furniture is done one-inch layer by one-inch layer, cutting and gluing as I go. There is a point where it is difficult to imagine where a chair is going." The following year, Nordness included Castle in his seminal traveling exhibition "Objects: USA." Nordness later gifted his living room furniture to The Art Institute of Chicago; a similar, yet different pedestal chair resides in this collection.

Property from an Important American Collection


Unique "Pedestal" chair

Stack-laminated walnut.
31 x 33 1/4 x 35 1/2 in. (78.7 x 84.5 x 90.2 cm)
Reverse of base incised W.C. 67. Together with fur cushion.

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $106,250

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New York Auction 6 June 2018