View full screen - View 1 of Lot 137. WENDELL CASTLE | UNIQUE "ANGEL HEART" ROCKING CHAIR.
137

WENDELL CASTLE | UNIQUE "ANGEL HEART" ROCKING CHAIR

WENDELL CASTLE | UNIQUE "ANGEL HEART" ROCKING CHAIR

WENDELL CASTLE | UNIQUE "ANGEL HEART" ROCKING CHAIR

WENDELL CASTLE

UNIQUE "ANGEL HEART" ROCKING CHAIR


2010

bleached mahogany

signed Castle and dated 10

29½ x 69¼ x 37 in. (74.9 x 175.8 x 93.9 cm)

Overall in very good condition. This sculptural rocking chair presents with a dynamic structure enhanced by a bleached mahogany texture. The underside of the legs with discoloration to the bleached surface consistent with gentle use and presentation, not visible when the piece is installed. The wooden surface with extremely minor scuffing to the edges, not visible unless closely inspected. A functional piece characteristic of Wendell Castle’s masterful woodworking practice.


In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Barry Friedman, New York

Rod Steinkamp, Los Angeles

Phillips London, October 18, 2018, lot 97

Private Collection, New York

Emily Evans Eerdmans, Wendell Castle: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1958-2012, New York, 2014, p. 406 (for the present lot illustrated)

Wendell Castle: Forms Within Forms - The 21st Century, The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, November 30, 2012–February 3, 2013

Wendell Castle’s skillful cabinetmaking and mastery of woodworking techniques need no introduction. Throughout his six-decade career, Castle constantly reinvented his practice, incorporating a variety of forms, influences and techniques in a conscious effort to shake up the field of contemporary design. This monumental rocking chair was designed and executed towards the end of his career, at a time where he was exceptionally prolific. By then the artist was no stranger to designing rocking chairs, having produced a significant number of them for decades prior. His favorite furniture form, he said it himself, was indeed the chair, because of its inherent challenges and its inability to become a familiar object. “Since you sit in a chair, it immediately becomes an intimate object, one that you constantly test by sitting and thus have a relationship with,” he once said.  


Therefore, Castle developed a strong technical understanding of how form and function unite, which the present work fully embodies. This form reminiscent of Castle’s earlier work from the 1970s exudes tremendous dynamism, building upon undulating lines to generate function and a vigorously animated silhouette. A testament to Castle’s ability to experiment, this “Angel Heart” rocking chair is distinguished by his unusual use of bleached mahogany, which espouses its sleek, futuristic lines and accentuates its innovative attributes. The present work further reinforces the idea that Castle was more than a visionary furniture designer but a truly accomplished wood sculptor whose work continues to provoke and inspire.