Enrico Castellani

A few years ago he was the bridgehead of the relaunching of Italian art, the artist responsible for its growth on the international market, paving the way for the appetizing Italian Sales, the sales of Italian art lots in London and American auction houses.

Castellani was born in the province of Rovigo and died in 2017 in Rome. His life was fairly uniform, more or less like his works. Between 1959 and 1960 with Piero Manzoni he started up the magazine “Azimuth” and the gallery of the same name, exhibiting for the first time in Italy artists like Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, who were renewing the artistic language  after the Action Painting. His desire for a complete resetting of the past was expressed in his work with the decision to paint monochrome works. Already in 1959 Castellani began to use techniques to produce slight extroversions, using a structure with hundreds of nails hidden behind the canvas. These rhythmic movements of the surface, always similar but always varied with different geometrical arrangements, define an innovative, quintessential procedure which produces apparently identical but actually always different works. Some years later Donald Judd acknowledged Castellani as the father of Minimalism.

He did not disdain vaster, environmental interventions. In 1967, at the exhibition Spazio dellimmagine (Space of the image) in Foligno, he presented Ambiente bianco (White environment). But later he also created theatre sets.

Although the market for Castellani seems at present to be stationary, many of his works have been sold for over 1 or 2 million dollars, reaching even over 5 million dollars with the 1967 Superficie Bianca (White Surface) in 2014 at Sothebys. Considering this stage of reflection, it is probably the best moment to invest in this master of international art.

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