80×70 cm

acrilico su tela



Enrico Castellani was an Italian artist, among the most significant for post-war artistic research.

Trained through art, sculpture and architecture studies in Belgium, he returned permanently to Milan in 1956. Here he entered the city’s cultural scene, associating with various artists. In particular, he formed a strong partnership with Piero Manzoni, with whom he founded the magazine Azimuth in 1959, proclaiming the total elimination of the previous artistic experience, based on a new pact with social progress.

His first artistic experiences express an informal character, inspired by American action painting. Subsequently, however, he began to produce monochrome (often totally white) everted canvases. The artist begins a very rigorous path of study and analysis of the possibilities provided by the extroflection of the canvas through the use of nails and ribs inserted behind the canvas.

In 1959 Castellani created his first relief surface, giving life to a poetics that would be his constant and rigorous stylistic signature, defining what critics called “different repetition”. Considered by many critics to be a gesture of extreme purity, the carefully chosen repetition of solids and voids given by the rhythmic extrusions of the canvas constitutes an ever new path, even if coherent and intense.

In 1964 he participated in the Venice Biennale, where he was subsequently invited also in 1966 (with a personal room), in 1984 and in 2003.

In 1965 he participated in the collective exhibition “The Responsive Eye” at the MoMA in New York and in the VIII Biennial of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

Among the most important exhibitions in which Castellani took part, the following are of particular interest: “Vitality of the negative in Italian art” curated by Achille Bonito Oliva at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome (1970); “Italian Identity. L’art en Italie depuis 1959”, curated by Germano Celant, at the Center Pompidou in Paris (1981); “The Italian metamorphosis” at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (1993).

An important anthological exhibition curated by Germano Celant was held at the Fondazione Prada in Milan in 2001 and at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge in 2002.

On 13 October 2010 Enrico Castellani received the “Praemium Imperiale for painting” from Prince Hitachi, Honorary Patron of the Japan Art Association, the highest international artistic recognition.

His works are in the most important museums in the world, MoMa in New York, Center Pompidou in Paris, Guggenheim in New York, National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome.

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