History: Wendell Castle’s Furniture Art
Wendell Castle has been called the founding father of American furniture art and is largely responsible for the development of modern designer furniture as a major art from. Born, raised and educated in Kansas, he began his prolific career at the age of 26 and has been consistently producing widely acclaimed pieces for more than five decades.
Castle’s work speaks to a naturally sustainable view of the world that has been his focus since the early 1960s. He selects his materials deliberately and meticulously, and lets the unique characteristics drive his design process. In most cases that material is laminated wood, but he’s equally masterful working with metal, fiberglass, concrete and plastic. His focus isn’t on the medium; it’s on creating unique objects that are at once sublimely abstract and eminently practical.
The availability of Castle’s work at any given time is limited. Thousands of pieces are held privately; more than 100 are in permanent museum collections and 30 are in corporate collections. He typically creates only about 35 pieces each year, and the duration of a project can be months, or even years.
Wendell Castle’s popularity seems to be on the rise, and his work continues to resonate with collectors, dealers and museum curators. Some vintage pieces recently commanded unexpectedly high prices at auction.