Enrico Castellani

Enrico Castellani

Enrico Castellani (1930–2017) was a catalytic figure in the European postwar avant-garde, co-founding the experimental journal, Azimuth, and the Galleria Azimut with Piero Manzoni. Together, they organized innovative exhibitions and published essays that provided alternatives to the dogmatic ideologies of Tachisme and Art Informel, which dominated the European art scene at the time. Through his art and writings, Castellani advanced an approach to painting that refuted the traditional conception of the canvas as a transparent window, opening his work onto a new space of topographical abstraction that engaged notions of space, time, infinity, and flux.

Born in Castelmassa, Italy, in 1930, Castellani studied art and architecture at Belgium’s Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts and École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et des Arts Décoratifs de la Cambre in the early 1950s. After moving to Milan in 1956, he began to make art that challenged the conventional separation of painting, sculpture, and architecture, searching instead for a paradigm that combined aspects of all three. In 1959, he completed the first of his celebrated Superficie, a series defined by the rhythmic protrusions and recessions of a monochrome surface, typically stretched taut over a pattern of nails. Following a string of successful exhibitions throughout the 1960s, he settled in the small hamlet of Celleno, Italy, in 1973, where he would live and work for the rest of his life. While the purview of his practice expanded to include a variety of materials and formal concerns, his pursuit of a poetic coalescence of painting, sculpture, and architecture never wavered.

Castellani’s works are included in numerous major public collections, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Fondazione Prada, Milan; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma (MACRO), Rome; 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. Castellani’s work was centrally featured in ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s, a 2014-15 exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, that focused on Group Zero, an international network of artists who pioneered new approaches to light, movement, and space in the aftermath of World War II.

We have had the extraordinary privilege of working with Enrico Castellani since 2007. The gallery has curated several exhibitions of his work in New York and London, including Local History: Castellani, Judd, Stella in 2014-15. We have also published books, including Enrico Castellani, which features a 2009 interview between the artist and Hans Ulrich Obrist, offering meaningful insights into the themes and concepts that informed his oeuvre. While mourning his passing, Lévy Gorvy is committed to championing Castellani’s legacy, ensuring that his art and his vital spirit live on.

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Selected Works

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  • Superficie nera
    1964
    Acrylic on canvas
    18 15/16 x 23 5/8 inches (48 x 60 cm)

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  • Superficie biangolare cromata
    2011
    Acrylic and resin on canvas
    27 1/2 x 19 11/16 x 39 3/8 inches (70 x 50 x 100 cm)

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  • Superficie
    1974
    Acrylic on canvas
    59 x 59 inches (150 x 150 cm)

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Video

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.

Exhibitions

Selected Press

Artforum | ENRICO CASTELLANI (1930–2017)

February 2, 2018

Castellani found his strength in testing out and constructing ever-changing relationships between surface …

The Guardian | Enrico Castellani obituary

December 17, 2017

One of the great Italian artists of the 20th century, regarded as the ‘father of minimalism’

The New York Times | Enrico Castellani, Artist in the Postwar Avant-Garde, Dies at 87

December 12, 2017

Mr. Castellani participated in the swirl of movements and self-proclaimed groups, some armed with manifestoes, …

Artnet | Italian Avant-Garde Painter Enrico Castellani, Who Helped Pioneer the Zero Movement, Has Died at 87

December 4, 2017

"Castellani should be remembered as one of the people that changed the language of art,” Emilio Steinberger, …

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 Burri, Enrico Castellani, Jannis Kounellis, Piero Manzoni, Giulio …

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 hailed …

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 the …

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 l'arte …

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 at …

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 touch …

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 and North …

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 Fontana …

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 exhibition …

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 all …

World Sculpture News | A Transformative Period

November 30, 2014

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

Inventory Magazine | LOCAL HISTORY: CASTELLANI, JUDD, STELLA

November 19, 2014

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

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 moment …

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 including …

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 have …

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 one …

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 stressed. …

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 that …

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