Over the past four decades, the work of artist Wendell Castle (Kansas, 1932) has swept away the division between art and furniture design. The work, strange and unparalleled, consists of true furnishings, as pertinent in a museum as in a simple living room.

Castle is considered one of the fathers of the American Studio Furniture Movement. Next to Sam Malouf (who’d been Castle’s teacher), the American has creatd pieces that merge grace and functionality, furniture that radiates a personality impossible to go unnoticed.

The works, made mostly of wood and fiberglass, defy design conventions and in many cases bear organic shapes and silhouettes that recall the contours of nature not unlike those of an animal or some plant. They acquire then a certain totemic halo as if they were rites condensed into palpable matter. Each work in wood is sumptuous and full of personality. Castle developed his own techniques, and one of the most acclaimed of these is to combine several pieces of wood and then to sculpt them as one.

Every article of Castle’s furniture has a unique identity dictated, among other methods, by its suggestive name. Muse, Code, Alchemist, Sorcerer and Karma are just some of the more fantastic names for them, and which complement the presence of each.

Beyond Castle’s obvious virtuosity, the furniture is also self-transcendent. Beyond their own practical limits, and even beyond the aesthetics that could be expected from furniture, the works end up giving us, like the ghost furniture of the Scottish designer Charles Mackintosh, a reminder: the boundaries between the mundane and the fantastic are flimsier than we think. The most ordinary of objects can work like a portal to another world, or at least, the work of this furniture magician would seem to suggest.

*Image: efpeditor – video

Over the past four decades, the work of artist Wendell Castle (Kansas, 1932) has swept away the division between art and furniture design. The work, strange and unparalleled, consists of true furnishings, as pertinent in a museum as in a simple living room.

Castle is considered one of the fathers of the American Studio Furniture Movement. Next to Sam Malouf (who’d been Castle’s teacher), the American has creatd pieces that merge grace and functionality, furniture that radiates a personality impossible to go unnoticed.

The works, made mostly of wood and fiberglass, defy design conventions and in many cases bear organic shapes and silhouettes that recall the contours of nature not unlike those of an animal or some plant. They acquire then a certain totemic halo as if they were rites condensed into palpable matter. Each work in wood is sumptuous and full of personality. Castle developed his own techniques, and one of the most acclaimed of these is to combine several pieces of wood and then to sculpt them as one.

Every article of Castle’s furniture has a unique identity dictated, among other methods, by its suggestive name. Muse, Code, Alchemist, Sorcerer and Karma are just some of the more fantastic names for them, and which complement the presence of each.

Beyond Castle’s obvious virtuosity, the furniture is also self-transcendent. Beyond their own practical limits, and even beyond the aesthetics that could be expected from furniture, the works end up giving us, like the ghost furniture of the Scottish designer Charles Mackintosh, a reminder: the boundaries between the mundane and the fantastic are flimsier than we think. The most ordinary of objects can work like a portal to another world, or at least, the work of this furniture magician would seem to suggest.

*Image: efpeditor – video