Enrico Castellani

Enrico Castellani is regarded one of Italy's most important living artists. Born in Castelmassa in 1930, he studied sculpture and painting at Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in 1952 , subsequently architecture the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Belgium. In the early 1950s he began challenging the confines of painting, sculpture, and architecture in search of a new paradigm. A catalytic figure in the European post-war Avant Garde, with the help of his mentor Lucio Fontatna, Castellani founded the Azimut gallery and the related journal Azimuth in Milan in 1959 with Piero Manzoni. They organized international exhibitions and published essays that opposed the dominant art movements in Europe at the time, promoting the idea of an art that did not imitate but instead sprang self-referentially from its own techniques and materials. Considered as relief paintings, Castellani creates a 3 dimensional work from a two dimensional canvas by fastening the canvas over protruding nails to allow for variations in positive and negative space, light, and shade. This concept gradually evolved into shaped canvases, diptychs, and triptychs in a range of colors, though white predominated. In 1959 Castellani exhibited his now celebrated ‘Superficie Nera’ for the first time. To make them, he worked his monochrome canvases with a nail gun to produce a relief-life surface that induced light and shade effects through alternating depressions and raised areas. In the 1970s and 1980s, he expanded his approach to include other materials such as aluminium; but Castellani's focus upon a poetic marriage of painting, sculpture, architecture, and space has never wavered. Castellani has exhibited at prestigious museums around the world, including The Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. He represented Italy at the Venice Biennale in 1964 and in 2010 became the first Italian artist ever to receive the Praemium Imperiale for Painting.

  • Mauro Corda / Umberto Mariani & Italian Monochromes

    Mauro Corda / Umberto Mariani & Italian Monochromes


    March 17, 2017 - April 06, 2017

  • Monochromaniac


    New York

    November 18, 2016 - December 03, 2016

  • Informed - Art Informel and the Contemporary Structure

    Informed - Art Informel and the Contemporary Structure


    October 01, 2015 - October 22, 2015