Enrico Castellani

Enrico Castellani

Enrico Castellani is regarded as one of Italy’s most important living artists. Born in Castelmassa in 1930, he studied art and architecture at Belgium’s Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, respectively, in the early 1950s and soon began a practice challenging the confines of painting, sculpture, and architecture in search of a new paradigm. A catalytic figure in the European post-war avant-garde, he founded the Azimut gallery—and the related journal Azimuth—in Milan in 1959, with Piero Manzoni. They organised international exhibitions and published essays that opposed the dominant art movements in Europe at the time, and promoted the idea of an art that did not imitate but instead sprang self-referentially from its own techniques and materials. In 1959 Castellani also showed his now celebrated Superficie nera pieces 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; 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 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich. He represented Italy at the Venice Biennale in 1964, 1966, 1984, and 2010 (with solo exhibitions in 1966 and 1984 and as part of group exhibitions in 1964 and 2010). In the latter year he became the first Italian artist ever to receive the Praemium Imperiale for Painting, awarded by the Emperor of Japan. His works are included in numerous public collections including the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; Ohara Museum of Art, Kurashiki; Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Fondazione Prada, Milan; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma (MACRO), Rome; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart; Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAM), Turin; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

Visit the artist's website.


Selected Works

  • Superficie nera
    Acrylic on canvas
    18 15/16 x 23 5/8 inches (48 x 60 cm)

  • Superficie biangolare cromata
    Acrylic and resin on canvas
    27 1/2 x 19 11/16 x 39 3/8 inches (70 x 50 x 100 cm)

  • Superficie
    Acrylic on canvas
    59 x 59 inches (150 x 150 cm)



Enrico Castellani

March 22, 2017

February 9 – March 26, 2016
The first solo exhibition in London by Enrico Castellani, which explores the ways in which painting can occupy three-dimensional space by showcasing recent as well as historical works by the artist, most of which were on view in London for the first time.



Selected Press

Blouin Artinfo | Works by important Italian Postwar Avant-Garde artists at Lévy Gorvy New York

July 26, 2017

Works by artists like Alighiero Boetti, Alberto …

Christie's | 10 things to know about Enrico Castellani

April 6, 2017

An essential guide to the Italian artist who rose to fame with his monochromatic reliefs, and was …

New York Times | The Look of ’70s SoHo — Captured in One Apartment

February 9, 2017

The apartment, with its fine examples by Günther Uecker, Enrico Castellani, Lucio Fontana and Agostino …

StyleZeitgeist | Enrico Castellani at Dominique Levy

April 15, 2016

If you happen to be in New York this spring, Enrico Castellani’s new exhibit, Interior Space, at …

Wallpaper | A show at Dominique Levy proves Enrico Castellani's cutting-edge credentials

April 13, 2016

Donald Judd once referred to the Italian artist Enrico Castellani as the ‘father of minimalism’. …

Art Bahrain | Enrico Castellani

April 8, 2016

Dominique Lévy is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in London by Enrico Castellani, with …

Mousse Magazine | Enrico Castellani “Interior Space” at Dominique Lévy, New York

April 3, 2016

Dominique Lévy is pleased to announce a solo exhibition in New York by Enrico Castellani, with whom …

ARTE | Castellani La concretezza dell'infinito

March 1, 2016

Grandi protagoniste delle Italian sale, la aste londinesi che negli ultimi 15 anni hanno rilanciato …

Kaleidoscope | Boom!

February 19, 2016

For decades, post-war Italian art seemed to hide in plain view: revered by knowing critics and dealers, …

Blouin Artinfo | Enrico Castellani’s Landmark Solo Show at Dominique Levy London

February 17, 2016

Dominique Lévy is presenting Italian artist Enrico Castellani’s first solo exhibition in London …

Il Sole 24 Ore | Manzoni and Castellani, the pioneers of the avant-garde in London

February 12, 2016

LONDON - The Italian art of war is the protagonist in this London winter: two extraordinary

Wallpaper | Scope for contemplation: Enrico Castellani at Dominique Lévy Gallery

February 9, 2016

In 1959, two Milan-based artists – Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni – opened the gallery Azimut, …

Financial Times | Critics' Choice: Enrico Castellani

February 7, 2016

The first London solo show for the Italian artist focuses on large-scale shaped relief canvases ...

Widewalls | Enrico Castellani for the First Time in London with Dominique Lévy

February 4, 2016

There is something truly sublime about the paintings of Enrico Castellani. An inexplicable urge to …

The Telegraph | Art Sales: London’s international art scene

January 26, 2016

Over the last four years, there has been a steady stream of international art galleries opening branches …

FT How To Spend It | Enrico Castellani at Dominique Lévy

January 25, 2016

Painting, sculpture and architecture coalesce in the large-scale monochromatic works of Enrico Castellani …

THE ART NEWSPAPER | Enrico Castellani says ‘yes’ to rare solo show

October 14, 2015

Dominique Lévy gallery will present the first ever London solo exhibition dedicated to the octogenarian …

Huffington Post | Sotto Voce: The Best Art Show in London Today

March 12, 2015

At some era, different artists from different parts of the globe seem to be working on the same wavelength, …

The Arts Desk | Sotto Voce, Dominique Lévy

February 14, 2015

Sotto Voce is a collection of white paintings, sculptures and reliefs made by European, British …

Apollo Magazine | Pure abstraction: ‘Sotto Voce’ and the appeal of the abstract white relief

February 10, 2015

‘Abstract white relief’ is not an easy term to get your head around. It can sound highly technical, …

TimeOut London | Sotto Voce

February 10, 2015

Everything’s all white in this group show of big names including Jean Arp, Ben Nicholson, Lucio …

Architectural Digest | Abstract White Reliefs are the Subject of a London Gallery Show

January 31, 2015

The abstract white relief, as envisioned by artists from diverse locations, generations, and affiliations, …

Aesthetica | Sotto Voce, Dominique Lévy Gallery, London

January 9, 2015

The second show at Dominique Lévy’s new London space will map the progression of the abstract white …

Art and Photography | Castellani, Judd, Stella - Dominique Lévy

December 28, 2014

How did I miss this? This exhibition opened on 13 October and I have only just picked up on it. An …

The New York Times | 3 Artists Exploring 3 Dimensions

December 18, 2014

Art would be a little better off if some museum would organize a good-sized exhibition representing …

World Sculpture News | A Transformative Period

November 30, 2014

Dominique Lévy gallery is presenting a transatlantic exhibition that captures a fleeting but profound …


November 19, 2014

To mark the opening of Dominique Lévy's new space at 22 Old Bond Street, the gallery is hosting a …

The New York Times | At Galleries, Slices of Art History

October 23, 2014

Historical surveys are a popular mainstay among gallery owners. And now success appears to have multiple …

Glass Magazine | Local history – examining a pivotal intersection between three postwar artists

October 22, 2014

Dominique Lévy gallery is presenting Local History, a transatlantic exhibition that presents the …

Huffington Post | Beyond Frieze: Top 5 Satellite Events in London This Week

October 17, 2014

Frieze London opens this week (through Saturday, October 18), and includes a whirlwind of programs …

Blouin Artinfo | 18 Must-See Gallery Shows During Frieze Week in London

October 14, 2014

Branch out beyond Reagent’s Park and visit the best of what London’s galleries and institutions …

Vogue | 5 Shows to See in London During Frieze Week (That Aren’t at Frieze)

October 14, 2014

Of the very few art fairs legitimately considered absolute-musts, Frieze London is perhaps the only …

Art on a Postcard | Love from Mayfair

October 14, 2014

Frieze week begins. And everyone who has anything to do with the art world feels a little bit more …

Apollo Magazine | London Diary: 13 October

October 13, 2014

Every morning until the end of Frieze, we’ll be rounding up some of the latest exhibition openings …

Blouin Artinfo | Enrico Castellani, One of Minimalism’s Fathers

October 7, 2014

The publicity-shy Italian artist Enrico Castellani rose to prominence in the 1960s with paintings …


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