Enrico Castellani

Castelmassa, 1930 – Celleno, 2017

Enrico Castellani was born in Castelmassa (Rovigo) in 1930. After studying in Novara and Milan, he moved to Brussels in 1952, where he attended courses at the Académie des Beaux Arts and graduated in architecture from the École Nationale Supérieure de la Cambre in 1956. He returned to Milan and worked in an architecture studio until 1963. While frequenting the Milanese art scene, he met and befriended Piero Manzoni, Lucio Fontana and Agostino Bonalumi.

In 1959, he made his first relief surface. In the same year, he took part in the experiences of Zero and founded the magazine Azimuth with Manzoni; his first solo exhibition took place in the same gallery in 1960. This was followed in the 1960s by numerous exhibitions in Italy abroad, including his presence at the Venice Biennale in 1964, his participation in the Guggenheim International Award in New York and in the group show “The Responsive Eye” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965.

In 1966 he was awarded the Gollin Prize for his solo show at the Venice Biennale; he then stayed in the United States where he created the works that he exhibited in his first solo show in New York at the Betty Parsons Gallery.

Promoter, with Manzoni and Bonalumi, of the poetics of pictorial language zeroing, Castellani has carried forward a rigorous and coherent research focusing on the surface of the canvas, which he shaped with the use of nails. Fixed in linear sequences on the reverse, the nails create rhythmic and repeated movements on the front of the canvas.

After a short period in Switzerland, he returned to Italy in 1973 and moved to Celleno, a small village in the province of Viterbo. Here he continued to work until his death in 2017.

Solo exhibitions have been dedicated to the artist in prestigious galleries and public institutions, including the Fondazione Prada, Milan (2001), the Pushkin Museum, Moscow (2005) and Ca’ Pesaro, Venice (2013). In 2010, he received the Premium Imperiale.

Selected works




Enrico Baj | Dellupi Arte

Requested Artist:

Enrico Castellani

requested Catalogue:

Enrico Castellani