October 25, 2012 – February 9, 2013.
For the exhibition at Friedman Benda Castle has produced a major work – an installation of stack-laminated pieces spanning two-stories. Inviting dreamers to imagine, Castle incorporates seating pieces, a table, a lamp, and a spiral staircase leading to a nest resembling a tree house. A culmination of Castle’s own history of ideas and the resolution of formidable technical challenges, this dynamic environment offers Castle’s public a bewitching play of abstraction, function, and fantasy.
Self-referential and set into its own floor, the environment is a room without walls, a gesamtkunswerk, where elements relate to each other, invite interaction, and are rife with repeating aesthetic motifs.
In 1969, Castle produced an “environment for contemplation,” a stack-laminated pod-like chamber with a hinged door where one could ensconce and reflect. The new environment, 43 years later was exponentially more complicated to craft; the spiral staircase for example, appears to have regular step intervals but in fact will be built on a zigzag so that it can be hooked into the nest above. With this environment, the formula of the sixties work is reversed. Castle opens his work up to the public, seeking to redefine and re-set relationships.
The exhibition at Barry Friedman Ltd will feature a series of new unique and limited edition furniture, each with a generosity, freedom of expression and confidence in execution not seen before. Multiple dimensions are explored as Castle expands on the possibilities of voids and volumes. Castle augments, re-configures, and gives girth to many familiar shapes – mirror-image chairs, a settee, desk and tables – and the end result is of a new magnitude - fluidly merged, amorphous elements form surprisingly functional furniture.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is an installation - a grid of nine unique wood tables, each emanating from an identical stack-laminated base and each taking on a differentiated identity as it rises to the tabletop. The repetition of identical bases create an illusion that each table is formed from a solid block, referencing classical Greco-Roman figurative sculpture in which the base tends to be left in raw form, showing the origin of the material as it develops upwards, almost organically.