Enrico Castellani

Palazzo Fabroni

Enrico Castellani’s recent show, a survey of works dating from 1958 to the ’90s, demonstrated that he has produced one of the most significant bodies of work in Italy since the war. It was with a small-scale canvas Superficie nera (Black surface, 1959) that Castellani found the path he has followed up to the present: using a precise system, he drives nails into the underlying frames of his canvases at varying depths. With this method he turns monochrome canvases into pulsating membranes or labyrinths made dynamic and flexible by the varying angles of light striking the surface. This process is the conceptual matrix of all Castellani’s work.

In the early ’60s, Castellani placed himself in direct opposition to the aims of art informel and post-Surrealism. He developed a Minimalistic process informed by the fundamental lessons of Alberto Burri and, of course, Lucio Fontana. For Castellani,

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