Wendell Castle: Wandering Forms—Works from 1959-1979

October 20, 2012 - February 20, 2013

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum


Ridgefield (August 2012): 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 the opening of Wandering Forms with a special preview and benefit event on Friday, October 19, 2012. Curated by Evan Snyderman and Alyson Baker and designed by Cooper Joseph Studio, the exhibition will open to the public on Saturday, October 20, 2012, and remain on view through February 20, 2013. It 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., featuring texts by Alastair Gordon and Evan Snyderman and designed by Pandiscio Co.

The handmade pieces created by Wendell Castle in Rochester, New York, helped shape the American studio furniture movement throughout the 1960s and 1970s, 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 35 objects, including a variety of furniture forms from chairs to tables to lighting; approximately 50 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, which have not been 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.”