Enrico Castellani was born at Castelmassa, province of Rovigo in 1930. In Brussels he studies architecture at the Ecole Nationale Superieure. From the artistic point of view, he begins in 1956 with a painting of an informal kind of matter, from which he departs almost immediately turning his research to the systematic processing of pictorial components made from canvas and color. The vision of the painting of Jackson Pollock in 1957 and Mark Tobey at the Venice Biennale in 58, characterizes by small white signs, herald a shift to the monochrome. It’s fundamental the lesson of Mondrian and about this Castellani writes, in "Azimuth" no. 2, "comes to the total liberation of art from every mortgage pass, that being decorative, evocative of representation" to reach "a form of art reduced to the semantics of his language."
However, his first significant step does with the magazine "Azimuth" founded by Piero Manzoni and Vincenzo Agnetti, with whom he had close ties of friendship in the years when he worked in the architectural firm of Franco Buzzi, far from promoting artistic experimentation canons of traditional painting. "Azimuth" anticipates conceptually the season of neo-avant-garde, as well as outline within it a new form of expression tied to the group of artistic research. "A magazine that had the manifest intention of going beyond painting and sculpture as well, creating an object in itself significant”, which leads to the maturation conceptually new generation of artists who anticipates and perceives the new ports, as well as the 'informal, among the many pages hosted by: Lucio Fontana, Giò Pomodoro, Kurt Schwitters, Mimmo Rotella, Nanni Balestrini, Yves Klein. The elimination of matter and abstraction are the main components of aseptic research Azimuth, elements that defy the rules of Gestalt testing of the objects you find in the aesthetic point of contact with contemporary life, anticipating years of antiform research.
Between the onset and linguistic maturity reached by Castellani, a very short time elapses, a little over two years. The work that marks this maturity, summing the elements that we find in all subsequent work, is the black area in the 1959 survey. In this work-the title of which already provides an objective description of the use of black-all is an aspiration of zeroing, in consonance with that tendency, reflected in those years, to express themselves through an impersonal language, stating the neutrality and silence, the zero and the void as the sole domain of art.
Behind the canvas, the artist of the spherical forms that give dynamism to the surface. Hence the assertion of the surface occurs for extroversion and energy through the inner, denying the role of the artist. A step forward will be given by an arrangement of nails behind the canvas, placed in a specific order, a mathematical criterion. This results in a surface projecting in some places, marked with knobs and introflections.
Since 1960, the sequences of Castellani to arrive at a perpendicular structure, in which the vertical intersects with the horizontal. Sometimes it is the line itself to become jutting, angular surfaces when estroflesse: born and Super Size angular red-black surface angle, both of 1961.
Castellani has participated in numerous exhibitions of international importance, among which you may remember the participation at the Venice Biennale in 1964, 1966 and 2003, at Documenta in Kassel in 1968 in The Responsive Eye at MOMA in New York in 1965 and shows "Identité Italienne" the center G. Pompidou in Paris.
He also exhibited, among numerous exhibitions dedicated to him, the Biennale of Sao Paulo, Brazil (1965) and the great staff at the Fondazione Prada in Milan in 2001.
On October 13, 2010 will receive the highest award in the arts the Praemium Imperiale (Nobel Prize in the arts) from the Japan Art Association to the hands of the Emperor of Japan.
In 2012 the exhibition "Enrico Castellani and Günther Uecker", with works by comparing, from 01/09 to 13/01/2013 at the Museum of Modern Art Cà Pesaro, Venice.