Mark Lindquist



1949         Born May 16 in Oakland, California, to Helen Lilly Lindquist and Melvin Lindquist.  Melvin, an electrical engineer and master machinist, works for the General Electric Company during the day and creates vases in his woodturning shop at home during the evenings.  Mark has one older sister, Catherine.


1954         Melvin Lindquist is transferred by General Electric and the Lindquist family relocates to Schenectady, New York.  Melvin builds his woodturning studio in the basement of their new house, and at the same time creates a small workshop for Mark.  Over the next ten years, Melvin teaches Mark woodworking and mechanics, Mark observes his father woodturning, and they work together on projects such as building racers, go-karts, and motorized bikes.


1956         Melvin purchases 93 acres of land in Chestertown, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains.  Over the next ten years, Melvin and Mark visit this land on weekends and in the summer, building a log cabin, clearing trails, and gathering wood for turning.  It is on this land that they first discover spalted wood.  Melvin begins turning spalted wood at home, developing tools and techniques using his technical knowledge from his career as an engineer.


1959         Begins woodturning and using the chain saw.


1967         Becomes engaged to his high school sweetheart, Kathleen Bragg.  Graduates from Niskayuna High School; enters New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire.  Studies art and art history.  Studies photography. 


1968         Marries Kathleen Bragg.  They move into an apartment in Henniker.  Studies stone sculpture.  Sets up a stone carving studio in the apartment, and completes several works.


1969         Builds house with ground-floor studio on Patch Road in Henniker, next to the "Cascades" waterfalls. 


                 Meets and begins working / dialogue with Darr Collins, potter, photographer and interim art instructor at New England College.  Works with John McAlevy, local furniture-maker. 


                 Begins photographic documentation of his art.


1970         Receives grant to create metalworking studio for the college and to learn metal sculpture.  Studies welding with maintenance personnel.  Makes large-scale metal sculptures. 


                 Begins part-time apprenticeship with Darr Collins, studying pottery, photography, and Zen Buddhist philosophy. 


1970         Sets up woodturning studio in house and begins turning again, translating ceramic forms into wood using the Shopsmith his father gave him.  Introduces into woodturning the concept of the "happy accident," incorporating spalting, natural tops, holes, and cracks as potters use sgraffito and accept glaze crackling and irregularities. 


1971         First child, Benjamin, is born in March.  From an early age through high school, Ben works with his father, learning woodworking and participating in all aspects of the studio. 


                 Graduates from New England College; receives Creative Arts Award. 


                 Enters into full-time apprenticeship with Darr Collins, which is interrupted for three months when Mark enters Pratt Institute's M.F.A. Program and is then resumed when he leaves Pratt to return to New Hampshire.  Assists Collins in building studio, kiln, and kickwheels.


1972         Mark, Kathy and Ben spend two months with Mark's parents in Schenectady.  Mark and Melvin work together in Melvin's studio.  Mark shares with his father the concepts he is applying to woodturning.  They continue to influence each other as they break with the traditions of craftsmanship and pursue woodturning as an expression of philosophical ideas.  After returning to Henniker, Mark resumes his apprenticeship with Collins, which continues until mid-1973.  Joins his father in showing woodturning at regional craft fairs, including Fox Hollow.


1973         Begins exhibiting in craft galleries, The Place, Pound Ridge, New York; Julie:Artisan's Gallery in New York City; Ten Arrow Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Fairtree Gallery, New York City. 


                 With his father, exhibits at American Craft Council (ACC) Northeast Craft Fair, the year this fair, which becomes ACC's premier craft marketing event, moves to Rhinebeck, New York.  Melvin and Mark continue to exhibit at Rhinebeck every year through the last Rhinebeck Fair in 1983.


1975         Second child, Joshua, is born in February.  From an early age through high school, Josh works with his father, learning woodworking and participating in all aspects of the studio.


1977         Writes article on spalted wood which is published in Fine Woodworking magazine.  Mark's work is included in the Young Americans: Fiber, Wood, Plastic, Leather show of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts of the American Crafts Council in New York City. 


                 Becomes American Crafts Council Northeast Region Representative, a position which he holds until 1980 when the council becomes a national organization. 


1977         In the fall, becomes Head of Woodworking for the Worcester (Massachusetts) Craft Center.  Moves with his family to Worcester where they stay until the summer of the following year.  Kathy and Mark study photography with Ron Rosenstock.


1978         The Art of the Turned Bowl, an exhibit of the works of Melvin and Mark Lindquist, Ed Moulthrop, and Bob Stocksdale, opens at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. 


                 Acquisition of two pieces, the Lapping Wavelet Bowl and the Brancusi Cup, by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Penelope Hunter-Stiebel, Curator of Twentieth Century American Decorative Arts, introduces Mark to the work of James Prestini. 


                 Writes article on turning spalted wood for Fine Woodworking magazine.


                 Builds darkroom in Henniker home.  Produces fine art black and white prints from 1978 through 1986.


                 Assists master craftsman Robert Whitley in patterning and measuring the Oval Office Desk in the White House.  Documents the desk and Whitley's visit to the White House through photographs.  Whitley creates a replica of the desk for the JFK Memorial Library in Boston, MA.    


Meets sculptor Will Horwitt; begins friendship and exchange of visits between Mark's New Hampshire studio and Horwitt's Tribeca, New York City studio; assists Horwitt with woodworking techniques and photography, produces a catalog of Horwitt's work.  Mark and Will carry on a dialog about work and life until Horwitt's death in 1985.


Begins using the turning tool to expose the texture of wood and to create patterns on the surface of the bowl. 


1979         Creates his first Ascending Bowl, which marks his decisive departure from smooth-surface vessels. 


                 Work included in New Handmade Furniture at the American Craft Museum in New York.  Lectures at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution.  Establishes the woodturning program at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine. 


                 One-person exhibition at Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina: ten-year overview.  Sculpture Forbidden Fruit Tree (DeFunctional Sculpture) acquired by the Greenville County Museum of Art. 


                 Begins acquiring, refurbishing, and refitting large early industrial-age machinery for innovative woodturning techniques.


1980         Spends the months of February and March as a fellow at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.  Creates environmental sculpture, The MacDowell Woodpiles. 


                 One-person show of Zone-Line and other black and white photographs at Kendall Art Gallery in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.


                 "Mark Lindquist: The Bowl Is a Performance," by Nancy Means Wright is published in the October/November issue of American Craft.


1981         Creates MacDowell Bowl, the first large-scale completely chain saw lathe-turned bowl.


                 Initiates the woodturning program at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tennessee. 


                 The National Museum of American Art purchases Mark's Ascending Bowl #3, the first turned wood object acquired by the museum since its acquisition of several Prestini bowls. 


1982         Begins a series of sculptures he calls Captives, inspired by photographic juxtapositions of his early bowls with the wood from which they came, and by the famous unfinished works of Michelangelo.  In addition to showing the incomplete release of a form from its original material, Michelangelo's Prisoners show the tension inherent in a sculpture whose form is constrained by intended functionality.  LindquistÕs Captives comment on that duality, with the non-used functional form being the bowl, rather than the load-bearing column.  Lindquist returns to his Captive series periodically over the next 25 years.


                 Invents incremental chain saw/lathe plunge-cutting technique, a furtherance of the cone separation technique. 


                 At request of Sandra Blain, Director, and Robert Skinner, Business Administrator, designs woodturning studio addition for Arrowmont School.


1983         Begins series of large turned wood sculptures (6' to 8' in height) that he calls Totemic Series sculptures.


                 Purchases twenty acres in rural Quincy, Florida, with abandoned tobacco packing plant and tobacco barn.  Begins creating home and studio including an apartment for his parents and a studio for his father, Melvin.  Continues to maintain New Hampshire home and studio until 1986, when he and his family relocate permanently to Quincy. 


1984         First one-person show of Totemic Series sculptures, At the Quadrangle, Human Arts Gallery, Dallas. 


1984         Develops, with Sandra Blain and David Ellsworth, plans for the first National Woodturning Conference, which is held at the Arrowmont School in October of 1985.  Organizes first awards honoring pillars of studio woodturning movement.


1985         Survives serious automobile accident en route to Baltimore ACC Craft Fair.  As a result, gradually adjusts to new slower pace in life and work. 


                 Sculpture in the Totemic Series, Ancient Monolith #1 acquired by the Dallas Museum of Art.


1986         Exhibits in Ob'Art, Les Ateliers d'Art, Paris, France at special invitation of the French delegation to the ACC's 1985 West Springfield Fair.  Visits museums (including Brancusi Museum in Paris) and travels in France, Switzerland and Luxembourg. 


                 Mark's book, Sculpting Wood, is published by Davis Press.


1987         First one-person show of his Captive Series sculptures at the Snyderman Gallery in Philadelphia.


1987-88   Teaches drawing and design at Florida A&M University School of Architecture.  Transports burls and 10,000 ca. 1900 bricks to the campus, where Lindquist and students create an environmental sculpture in the courtyard.  A photograph of the installation later appears on the cover of Art Today (Spring 1989).


1988         Enters Florida State University M.F.A. Program.  Studies Japanese art history with Dr. Penelope Mason.  Begins series of Stratigraphs and De-Compositions, carved paintings on plywood.


                 Begins producing large-scale wood sculptures based on his studies of Japanese Heian Period "Ichiboku" (literally, "one tree") sculptures.  Unlike his totemic series, these five to eight foot tall sculptures are made from a single piece of wood, as were the Heian wood sculptures that inspire them.  Selecting a tree section with natural torsion, Lindquist turns and carves the material in harmony with the contours and irregularities of the tree, reflecting the Japanese sculptors' respect for the spirit of the tree.  Subtle application of color relates to the aging of the brilliant colors that Heian sculptors applied to their Ichiboku sculptures. 


                 With son Ben, participates in the building of a Habitat for Humanity house in Atlanta, GA.  President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn are also among the crew.  The President Builds a House, a book by Tom Schachtman, documents the project.


1989         In the summer, Mark and Kathy travel west to New Mexico, visiting Chaco Canyon, and Acoma and other pueblos. 


                 Included in The Grand Masters of Woodturning, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, Washington, D.C.  One-person show of sculpture at Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York City, reviewed in Art in America. 

1989         Captive Series sculpture appears on the cover of American Craft, February/March.


                 Receives Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Award.


1990         Begins rebuilding machines as primitive robotics.


                 Receives M.F.A. from Florida State University. 


                 Travels to Paris, Barcelona, and Valencia, visiting museums. 


                 Exhibits Ichiboku series sculptures and painted reliefs at Franklin Parrasch Gallery in New York City.


                 Takes on Roger A. Paph as artist's assistant; Roger lives and works at the studio through 1996. 


1990-93   Concentrated period of research and design, reconfiguring studio, building robotics, and creating large-scale sculptures. 


                 Begins Les Couches Decouvertes series of painted reliefs.


1993         Work acquired for the first White House Craft Collection. 


                 Installation of Totemic Triad commissioned (through Hodges Taylor Gallery) by Nation's Bank for its new corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. 


                 Gail Severn Gallery sponsors one-person show of Mark's work at the Chicago International New Art Forms Exposition.


                 Researches the use of cord marking in the creation of ancient Japanese Jomon pottery for Japanese arts scholar Dr. Penelope Mason's book History of Japanese Art.  Develops a system for replicating the markings and produces photographs used in the book.


1994         Gail Severn Gallery shows Mark's work concurrently with Dale Chihuly's in two one-person shows at the first International Exposition of Sculpture, Objects & Functional Art (SOFA) in Chicago.


1995         Expands metalworking studio.  Begins creating Totemic series sculptures that include wood, machined metal parts, and electronic artifacts. 


                 Mark Lindquist: Revolutions in Wood, twenty-five year retrospective curated by Robert Hobbs, opens at the organizing institution, the Hand Workshop Art Center, Richmond, Virginia.  A catalog of the same name with an essay by Robert Hobbs is published.  Included in the National Museum of American Art's exhibition, The White House Collection of American Crafts. 

1995         Gail Severn Gallery sponsors one-person show of Mark's work at the first Miami International Exposition of Sculpture, Objects & Functional Art.


1996         The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution exhibits Mark Lindquist: Revolutions in Wood from March through July.


                 Is named Honorary Board Member of the James Renwick Alliance.


1999         Begins photography and website design work for one of the most distinguished precious metals dealers in the country.  Photographs precious metals coins and historical bullion.  Through 2002, designs websites for select clients.


2000         Mark's father, Melvin Lindquist, passes away at the age of 89.  He was still working in his studio until three weeks before his death. 


                 Works acquired by the new Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, North Carolina and exhibited in two exhibitions from the museum's collection: The Founders Circle Collection: Inaugural Exhibition and The Jane and Arthur Mason Collection.


2001-02   Works included in the Wood Turning in North America Since 1930 exhibition sponsored by The Wood Turning Center and Yale University.  Venues include the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Yale University Art Gallery. 


2002         The Smithsonian American Art Museum purchases a major Totemic sculpture, Silent Witness #6~Dh0:\Taciturn (Post Totemic Series) 1991-95.  The Renwick Alliance donates the funds to purchase the sculpture in memory of our nation's loss on September 11, 2001.


2003         Participation by invitation in the Kanazawa World Craft Forum, Kanazawa, Japan, as one of four American wood artists selected for the exhibition. 


                 With his acquisition of a Nikon D2H camera, devotes himself to exploring a photographic effect he has been experimenting with for years: motion blur.  Using the camera to pull light across the field of view, sometimes splitting the light into its component colors, he reveals forms that exist only in the instant of the capture of the image.  After setting up a fine art quality print studio, begins producing photographs up to 36" wide and 60" long on canvas.   Focuses almost exclusively on photography through the summer of 2005.


2005         John McFadden, photographer from Minneapolis, joins the studio as an apprentice, working for periods of several months at a time, then returning to Minneapolis.  Assists in the sculpture studio as well as with documentary photography.  This association continues to the present (2009).


2006         Creates the large-scale sculpture Liberty Mallet, which departs from his ongoing series of large-scale sculptures (the Totemic series and the Ichiboku series) by being representational (the form is based on a sculptor's mallet) and by making an overt political statement.


                 Exhibits Liberty Mallet as an invited participant in the juried exhibition: "The Presence of Absence: Celebrating the Void in Contemporary Wood" (curated by Hal Nelson, Director of the Long Beach Museum of Art, CA) at SOFA Chicago.  Is represented at SOFA by Donna Schneier Fine Art.


                 Is among the first three turners to receive the American Association of Woodturners' award recognizing the lifetime achievements and influence of professional turners: the POP Fellowship.  Giles Gilson and Stephen Hogbin are the other recipients.  Receives the award and presents a multi-media presentation on his life and work at the annual symposium of the AAW in Portland, Oregon.


                 Renwick Gallery (Smithsonian National Art Museum) acquires Ichiboku series sculpture made in 1989.  The piece's title, Akikonomu, means "lover of autumn." Inspired by a character from the Tales of Genji, Akikonomu is the most colorful of Lindquist's Ichiboku series.


2007         Is named a fellow of the American Craft Council.


2008         Chanse Simpson spends a week at Lindquist Studios, filming for one segment of his documentary: Soul's Journey: Inside the Creative Process.  The film documents Lindquist's creation of Bird in Pre-Flight, which becomes the second sculpture in the series that began with Liberty Mallet.


                 With Donald Brecher, gallery owner, develops an exhibition and catalog in honor of Melvin Lindquist.  The exhibition shows the work of Melvin, Mark, and five other wood artists who have been associated with them as colleague and friend and, in some cases, apprentice.  Terry Martin writes an essay chronicling the paths these major figures in contemporary American art have followed, and how they have converged and diverged.  With his associate, John McFadden, Lindquist photographs all the works for the catalog.  The rakovaBRECKERgallery sponsors the exhibition at SOFA Chicago with the title, Icons: A Tribute to Mel Lindquist.  Ken Brown documents the event on video. 


                 Survives two heart attacks in late November and early December. 


2009         David Hutto and Chanse Simpson's documentary film profiling several artists, Soul's Journey: Inside the Creative Process, is pre-released.  A companion exhibition of the same name is held at The Center for Craft Design, Hendersonville, NC.