WXXI AM News

Wendell Castle "Remastered"

Oct 6, 2017

An artist well known not only in Rochester, but around the world, has a new exhibit which opens Sunday at the Memorial Art Gallery. 

The show is called “Wendell Castle Remastered”, and it features around 40 works of art  from Wendell Castle, a master furniture maker and sculptor who is now in the 6th decade of his career. The show is in a renovated space at the MAG.

Castle, who still has a local studio, is showcasing work that uses what is called the ‘stack lamination technique.’  Castle says he’s been using that method for a number of years, but now he has the advantage of utilizing a computer program and a robot.

“I still use that technique today, but today we have the opportunity to use digital technology which is very useful in taking it a step further than I would have been able to take it in the 60s,” Castle told WXXI News.

Castle says the advantage of the newer technology is it helps him design large art works that can be taken apart and then put back together so that they can be placed inside a building. 

“If you’re trying to fit a very odd shape into another very odd shape and get a good fit, that’s practically impossible by hand. But with a computer program and a robot, you can get a perfect fit.”

Jonathan Binstock is the museum director at the Memorial Art Gallery  and he says it’s a treat to be able to exhibit Castle’s work.

“When we think of the art scene in Rochester we think of Wendell Castle, he’s absolutely critical to our culture; he’s helped define some of our best characteristics of what we’ve produced and sent out into the world.”

Binstock says the new exhibit gives people in the Rochester area a chance to get an idea of where Wendell Castle is taking his art these days.  

“People in Rochester haven’t seen this work. This is the first opportunity for people in our region to see what all the talk has been about, Wendell Castle is a grandmaster, he’s known around the world,  and he’s come home to show us what he’s been up to in the last, I’d say 7 years or so.”

The Wendell Castle remastered exhibit runs through December 31st

Here's video from a reception for Wendell Castle on Friday night: (videography by Martin Kaufman)