Enrico Castellani

Galleria Lia Rumma / Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea

For Italy, and for Europe generally, sixty-nine-year-old Enrico Castellani’s life, perhaps even more than his art, provides an exceptional example of coherence. Inspired by Lucio Fontana, he was a fellow-traveler of Piero Manzoni, with whom he established the Azimuth gallery and magazine in Milan in 1959. Castellani has spent forty years working on a single problem: the surface in relation to light. His protruding canvases feature small nails mounted on a complex frame on which he constructs monochrome “surfaces,” where light (in the form of its opposite, shadow) takes hold, moves, changes according to environmental conditions—in short, “lives,” and in so doing also brings alive the surface, that is, its reflective counterpart.

The two recent shows, at Galleria Lia Rumma in Milan and the Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea in Trento, summarized the artist’s entire career. The Milan exhibit

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