Wendell Castle at Barry Friedman Gallery


Night on Earth, 2007

Sculptural furniture master Wendell Castle yesterday launched a show at New York’s Barry Friedman Gallery of previously unseen work, made in the last two years. Parts of the exhibition, which includes one-offs and small limited editions, looks familiar, featuring his satisfyingly blobby and totemic shapes, along with materials—fiberglass and laminated wood—that he’s used for over 40 years. But it also announces a new direction for the 76-year-old Kansas-born designer, with the introduction of experimental finishes, as well as bronze, steel, nickel and aluminum, he’s used to create layered and highly textural pieces. "The Black Widow [armchair] is made of fiberglass, and it’s very architectural," says gallery director Carole Hochman. "Multiple layers of paint are sprayed on its surface. The finish is black with overtones of red, so it’s reminiscent of a hot-rod."Nirvana, a second armchair with a similar "polychrome" finish, seems nearly liberated from the appearance of functionality, while the Night on Earth chaise series includes five unique pieces. The first, in stainless steel, was exhibited and sold at Art Miami, but a tongue-like, smoothly punctured aluminum version is now on display at Barry Friedman. www.barryfriedmanltd.com


Nirvana, 2007

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