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Wood Sculpture


Wood Sculpture in Northern California- Summer 2007
James Prestini

James Prestini, Platter

James Prestini- 1908-1993

A sculptor, designer and teacher, James Prestini is renowned for his beautifully elegant turned wood objects that he created in the thirties and forties. These elegant works were thin walled vessels that were fine art that gave the appearance of having practical use.

As a teacher at UC Berkeley, James Prestini taught generations of architecture and city planning students throughout his thirty years of tenure. Prestini was born in 1908 in Waterford, Connecticut, and received a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Yale in 1930. Already steeped in art and industrial design, he continued his studies at the University of Stockholm and eventually landed a teaching job at the acclaimed Institute of Design (known in art circles as the I.D.) in Chicago in the 1940's.

After several other teaching stints in the United States, Prestini went to Italy to study sculpture for three years. It was from Italy that Wurster summoned him to teach at Berkeley.

James Prestini was honored by many awards and prizes. He is best known as the father of wood turning art, and his wood pieces are extremely rare and sought after. They appear in many major collection, including the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Smithsonian Institution.

James Prestini Bowl
James Prestini

JB Blunk- 1926-2003

JB Blunk is closely associated with the group of Northern California artists influenced by surrealist Gordon Onslow Ford. Introduced to Isamu Noguchi while in Japan, Blunk became good friends with Noguchi and later other artists Jean Tinguely and Lee Mullican. J.B. Blunk studied ceramics and then turned to sculpture after moving to Inverness in Northern California. Drawing from Eastern influences, is sculptures often straddle the line between functional and natural inspiration. Because of his exquisite craftsmanship in wood working, he is often compared to other California artists Arthur Espenet, Sam Maloof, and John Stocksdale.

Selected Collections- Leonard Park, New York; San Francisco Museum of Art; Oakland Museum; University of California, Santa Cruz; Objects USA

JB Blunk
JB Blunk

Arthur Espenet- 1920-2006

The woodwork of Espenet is notable for its stress on functionalism and its strong emphasis on visual grace. Espenet's work has been shown in leading museums and universities throughout the country.
Excerpted from Objects USA

Arthur Espenet Carpenter Chair
Arthur Espenet Carpenter

Jeremy Anderson- 1921- 1962

He was described by critic Thomas Albright as one of the two "Founding Fathers" of San Francisco Bay Area sculpture. In Jeremy Anderson's work can be found eccentric references to totems, altars, ritualistic figures, and sometimes elements of weaponary and sexuality. And the roots of the Bay Area Funk Movement can be arguably traced traced to his influence as well.

Studied at the School of Fine Arts, 1946-1950; Help found Metarts Gallery, 1949; Taught Sculpture, California School of Fine Arts, 1951; Taught at University of California, Berkeley 1955-1956; Taught sculpture, University of California, Davis 1974-1975

Selected Solo Exhibitions: Metarts Gallery, San Francisco,1949; Stable Gallery, New York 1954; Dilexi Gallery, San Francisco 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1966; Berkeley Gallery, Berkeley California 1963; San Francisco Museum of Art, 1966; Quay Gallery, 1971, 1975, 1977, 1979; Univerysity of California, Davis 1975, 1984; Museum of Contemporary Design, Chicago 1975; Monterey Pennisula Museum of Art 1995, Oakland Museum of Art 1995

Jeremy Anderson Sculpture
Jeremy Anderson

Richard Faralla- 1916-1996

Attended CSFA (F.F.A. in 1955) and San Francisco State College 1956. Previously a painter, he turned in 1959 to sculptures and reliefs assembled from small scraps of wood, which he generally painted black or white; like the wood sculptures of Louise Nevelson, they were built around an essentially Cubist formal vocabulary, animated by a Byzantine intricacy of surface pattern and richness of texture. His earliest works were mosaics made of geometric bits of wood gathered from construction sites. In the early 1960's he began to use driftwood and his constructions became more organic.

Richard Faralla Sculpture
Richard Faralla