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Enrico Castellani - Buy or sell works

Painter of contemporary art | Castelmassa, Rovigo, Italy, 1930 - 2017

Enrico Castellani is an Italian painter, relief artist and proponent of concept art whose central motif is light and space. He is considered among the most influential Italian artists, and he made a significant contribution to the development of avant-garde art in Europe during the 1950s and 60s.

Castellani studied painting and sculpture at the Académie royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles until 1956, as well as reading architecture at the École de La Cambre, also in Brussels. He returned to Italy in 1957. Moving to Milan, he came into contact with artists involved in the country’s avant-garde scene, among them Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Vincenzo Agnetti and Agostino Bonalumi. He also had ties to the German artists belonging to the ZERO collective, and met the French painter Yves Klein. Castellani joined the group ‘Movimento Arte Nucleare’ in 1958.

In 1959, Piero Manzoni und Enrico Castellani opened Galleria Azimut in Milan, where they published the first edition of their journal Azimuth. Eschewing the idea that art is intended as a means of replication was the main message advocated in Azimuth. Instead, each piece should present its own reality and authenticity, and only refer to itself. Castellani created his first Superficie Nera in 1959, in which he used a nail machine on the canvas to create his art. This allowed Castellani to fashion a relief-like structure on the surface of these monochrome-white paintings, which strongly accentuated the play between light and shadow. Castellani continued to refine this method during the 1970s and 1980s, although he shaped other materials such as aluminium as well. He also started to use synthetic light to model his canvases.

Enrico Castellani showed his work at numerous international exhibitions as well as at Documenta IV in Kassel in 1968. He was invited to the Venice Biennale in 1964, 1966 and 2003.

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