Enrico Castellani was born in 1930 in Castelmassa.
He undertook his art studies in Milan, and later in Brussels until 1956 when he graduated in architecture. He then settled in Milan where he immediately became very active in the Italian art scene. His beginnings are linked to the theories supported by the magazine Azimuth, which he founded in 1959 with Piero Manzoni. The two artists, despite a very different personality, will have a productive exchange enriched by intense contacts with other artists such as Agostino Bonalumi and Lucio Fontana.
The artistic production of Enrico Castellani was characterised by monochromatic paintings consisting of stretched canvases, raised or sunk in different points by underlying nails, arranged accordingly so as to create a play of light and shadow on the surface. This experimentation was so original at the time that it has been considered ever since as an essential stepping stone of international history of 20th century art. Castellani’s work is distinguishable for its pure aspect, composed of the conceptual and rhythmetic repetition of “empty” and “full” spaces on the canvas, always new and diverse and yet faithful to the original technique.
The artist has participated in numerous exhibitions of international importance, such as the Venice Biennale in 1964, 1966 and 2003, the Kassel Documenta in 1968 and the New York Moma exhibition “The Resposive Eye” of 1965 (which presented major exponents of optical and kinetic art).
Enrico Castellani passed away at the age of 87, in 2017 in Viterbo, Italy.