Wendell Castle - Design New York Thursday, June 6, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Lee Nordness, New York
    Private collection, United States
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    "Handcrafted Furniture by Wendell Castle—New York Debut," Lee Nordness Gallery, New York, 1968

  • Literature

    “Wendell Castle,” Mobilia, no. 157, August 1968, n.p.
    Alastair Gordon, Wendell Castle Wandering Forms—Works from 1959-1979, exh. cat., Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, New York, 2012, illustrated p. 203
    Emily Evans Eerdmans, Wendell Castle, A Catalogue Raisonné 1958-2012, New York, 2014, illustrated p. 137

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot was formerly in the collection of Lee Nordness, the New York-based curator and gallerist who organized the exhibition Handcrafted Furniture by Wendell Castle – New York Debut, Castle’s first exhibition in New York City. Butterfly Love Seat was among just ten pieces of furniture Castle designed for the show, which The New York Times reviewed, allowing him to explain his process: “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.” Following the success of the exhibition, just one year later, Nordness cast him in an even bigger role. He included Castle’s work in the seminal exhibition Objects: USA, a traveling survey of American craft from the Johnson Collection. One of the most important exhibitions of American design in the twentieth century, the show traveled across America and Europe over five years and thirty venues, and Castle rapidly rose to international acclaim. At the time Nordness declared Castle “largely responsible for the recent renaissance of wood as a creative medium.” Fifty years later, his work is still leading the charge.


Unique "Butterfly Love Seat"

Stack-laminated oak.
18 1/4 x 49 x 19 in. (46.4 x 124.5 x 48.3 cm)
Base incised WC 67.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $106,250

Contact Specialist

+1 212 940 1268


New York Auction 6 June 2019