Enrico Castellani was an Italian painter and a catalytic figure in the European postwar avant-garde, co-founding the experimental journal, Azimuth, and the Galleria Azimut with Piero Manzoni. 

He studied painting and sculpture at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and architecture at the École Nationale Supérieure in Belgium. Castellani’s work sought to call attention to material and structure. He would use a nail gun to produce a relief surface that induced light and shade effects through alternating depressions and raised areas. Castellani left the canvases monochrome, usually white. In the 1970s and 1980s, Castellani began using other materials such as aluminum. 

His works are included in numerous major public collections, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Fondazione Prada, Milan; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. He represented Italy at the Venice Biennales of 1964, 1966, and 1984. In 2010, he became the first Italian artist to receive the Praemium Imperiale for Painting, an honor awarded by the Emperor of Japan. 


Enrico Castellani, Superficie bianca, 1990
Enrico Castellani, Superficie bianca, 1992