R & Company is pleased to announce two exhibitions by iconic designers Wendell Castle and Joe Colombo. These exhibitions will present a rare opportunity to view works made during the late 1960s and early 1970s by two internationally acclaimed designers whose innovative approach to design has left indelible impressions in the field of design. The exhibition will be on view from May 6 through June 27, 2014. There will be an opening reception on Tuesday, May 6, from 6 – 8pm. Wendell Castle will be present at the opening.
Wendell Castle's biomorphic forms, realized in wood lamination and plastic, have become recognized as representative of an era in American design that heralds a merging of studio craft, design and fine art. This minimal exhibition, tightly curated by R & Company principal Evan Snyderman, highlights the sculptural qualities of Castle's output during the late 1960s and early 1970s and features iconic masterworks as well as several rarely or never before seen large-scale pieces. Viewed together, the pieces illustrate Castle's technique and versatility in both material and scale.
"In this exhibition, the focus on Wendell Castle's large-scale sculptural work and sinuous drawings calls attention to the immense influence he's had on the design world as an artist as well as a maker," says Snyderman.
As a young designer, Castle was inspired by European designers who were using new materials and manufacturing techniques to produce organic and sleekly futuristic works, ranging from accessories to furniture and environments. Among those influential European designers—including Verner Panton and Gaetano Pesce—was Joe Colombo. Colombo, as well as these other designers, had a profound effect on Castle and influenced his own experimentations with plastic and fiberglass.
From the 1960s until his death in 1971, Joe Colombo produced an extraordinary number of furniture and lighting designs. R & Company will present a selection of works from the collection of Olivier Renaud Clement, as well as their own. Works on view will include: Colombo’s “Lamp with Rotating Shade;” a bedroom environment from his Living System series; his “Acrilica” lamp in clear acrylic with white enameled metal base; and his wellknown floor lamp "Spider" (1965). His furniture designs from this period championed plastic as a viable modern material. His "Universale" chair (1965) was a single piece of plastic that was highly successful as was his "Boby" trolley (1970).
“Colombo had an amazing potential, sense of creativity-futuristic and yet realistic in its function,” says Renaud Clement. “As a designer, he had finesse, and was sophisticated in his technical development of plastic and resin. He also was one of the first to combine high and low-end materials. He certainly died too young before he could fulfill his potential as a designer and architect.”