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The Art Of Wendell Castle

             Most art works, have a pronounced theme that leads the viewer to a remarkable conclusion. Wendell Castle's works tend to gravitate to the opposite of that sort of spectrum. His sculptures are instead just to be beheld. Their purpose is to not have a clear purpose. They represent creativity, an unparalleled chaotic force, as what it truly is. This swirling mass of random thought and inspired images. .
             Before Wendell Castle came along there was a clear line drawn in the sand. In the art world; art is art, sculpture is art, furniture can be art, but it could not be sculpture. No matter how hard different artists tried, sculpture and furniture did not mix. It had been a goal of the studio-furniture movement to cross the fine and arbitrary line between fine-art and fine-furniture. Two methods were available to cross this boundary. The first of which was to brow-beat and convince critics and viewers that your furniture is art. All this does is to alienate those who would view and support that artist.
             The other method, the one that Castle pioneered, was to have it first viewed as sculpture and then after careful viewing let such art be viewed as functional furnishings. .
             In the late 1960's Castle entered an abstract looking sculpture into an art competition. Only after it was accepted and viewed for a bit, did he reveal what it truly was. He named the piece "Stool Sculpture". By doing so he levered open a door between art and the "not" art, a gap that could not be blocked. Had Castle not disclosed the Stool's identity it would have passed by unnoticed, a somewhat ordinary abstract wooden sculpture. What ever this was taken as, Castle connected the two separate identities: art and furniture. To be considered as equal parts in any one object; that object must both be at once art and furniture. Castle pieces often conceal their true identities. They are made to look like an abstract sculpture that upon closer examination is a desk, or chair, or in the original case his stool sculpture.

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