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Wendell Castle exhibit on display in upstate New York

“Wendell Castle Imagined” opened Aug. 17 at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s University Gallery in Rochester, N.Y., and runs through Nov. 11. The exhibit is the first to focus on the studio furniture maker’s creative process. Work includes drawings and select sculptural and dimensional work.

While Wendle Castle’s exhibition is just beginning, an exhibition of Sam Maloof’s work has ended in Alta Loma, Calif.

The exhibit goes through the process in which Castle creates drawings that capture a concept and form as the initial step in designing sculptural furniture. Using translucent paper through which the former drawing is viewed, he reworks the form until he is satisfied that it is a road map for the journey from paper to three-dimensional form, according to the gallery.

Castle’s connection with Rochester and RIT stems back to when Harold Brennan, director of the School for American Craftsmen, recruited Castle to join the faculty in 1962. Castle maintained his own studio near the RIT campus during the ’60s.

Today, Castle is recognized as the “Father of the Art Furniture Movement,” having shown his work around the globe and gaining numerous awards for it. His designs are organic, bold and often whimsical. Crafted from hardwoods, plastics, concrete and metals, Castle uses multiple disciplines that include stack lamination, hand-carving techniques, casting forms in bronze, and programming a 6-axis CNC milling robot to carve. He moved to Scottsville, N.Y., in the ’70s where he continues to maintain an active design and production studio.

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Sam Maloof exhibit

Maloof’s iconic rocker was a crowd pleaser.

“Sam Maloof Woodworker: Life, Art, Legacy,” closed in August at the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts gallery in Alta Loma, Calif.

Held as part of a year-long celebration of the Maloof Centennial, the exhibition brought together more than 60 objects including examples of Maloof’s furniture, drawings, photographs, works of art, documents, video excerpts, ephemera and other items.

Chronicling Maloof’s lifelong journey as an artist and craftsman, the exhibit was organized into four themed gallery spaces offering insights into his art, mentors, innovations and lasting impact.

In the course of his career (1949-2009), Maloof produced more than 5,000 furniture works. The exhibition had been in development for almost three years.

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This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue.

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