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Art Index: Enrico Castellani


Enrico Castellani was born on 4 August 1930 in Castelmassa (Rovigo), a small town in the Polesine. He attended the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and in 1952 he moved to Brussels where he studied painting at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts.

In 1956, he graduated in architecture from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Cambre and returned to Milan the same year.

Enrico Castellani: Interior Space – installation view, New York, 2016. Photograph: Tom Powel Imaging/Lévy Gorvy

In 1959, together with Piero Manzoni, he founded the “Azimuth” magazine and “Azimut Gallery”, making his debut in the artistic environment with not only theoretical but also an organizational propaganda. It wasn’t until 1959 that Castellani created his first relief surface, giving life to a poetic style that would become his constant and rigorous stylistic code. This style would later be defined by critics as a "different repetition". Castellani’s style continues to develop in the field of extroflexion, while contemporaneously dabbing in different styles that reveal themes dear to Castellani such as time, rhythm and space.

In 1967 he creates Ambiente bianco for the exhibition “The space of the Image” , at Palazzo Trinci, in Foligno; in 1968, he presents “Il muro del tempo” at the La Tartaruga gallery in Rome; in 1969 he makes Spartito and in 1970 Obelisk. From its debut until today, there have been a series of important exhibitions in public and private spaces.

He participates multiple times in the Venice Biennale: in 1964, in 1966 (with a personal room for which he receives the Gollin Prize), in 1984 and in 2003. In 1965 he participates in the collective The Responsive Eye at the MoMA in New York and at the VIII Biennial of Sào Paulo in Brazil. In 1970 he takes part in the collective Vitality, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva, at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome and in 1959 in L'art en Italie depuis , curated by Germano Celant, at the Center Pompidou in Paris. In 1983 he was at the Palazzo Reale in Milan for the Programmed and Kinetic Art exhibition 1953-63; in 1994 he was invited to the exhibition The Italian Metamorphosisat at the Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

An important exhibition curated by Germano Celant was set up at the Prada Foundation in Milan in 2001 and at Kettle's Yard in Cambridge in 2002, year in which he also presented his work in the Franca Mancini Gallery in Pesaro and in that of Greta Meert in Brussels. In 2004 he exhibited in Paris in the Galerie di Meo and in 2005 at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, an exhibition curated by Bruno Corà. In 2006 he exhibited at the Lia Rumma Gallery in Naples and at the Auditorium in Rome, where for the occasion, violinist Uto Ughi performed some of the Paganini Capriccios.

Enrico Castellani, Superficie Bianca, 2002

On 13 October 2010, Enrico Castellani received from Prince Hitachi, Honorary Patron of the Japan Art Association, the Praemium Imperiale for painting, the highest artistic recognition at an international level. In 2011, his most recent works were presented again in New York, in the spaces of Haunch of Venison, where, for the occasion, he exhibited the famous Ambiente Bianco for the first time in the United States.

The following year, with Günter Uecker, he exhibited at Ca 'Pesaro. International Gallery of Modern Art, in Venice, an exhibition that will then be re-proposed in 2013 at the MAM Musée d'Art Moderne, Saint-Étienne.

In 2013 the genesis of Castellani's work is widely documented at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, in Venice, followed by the great exhibition ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s, curated by Velerie Hillings at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Enrico Castellani lived and worked in Celleno until his last days.

He died on December 1, 2017.


According to Castellani’s turnover in 2020 is $1,217,937.

The oldest auction result ever registered on the website for an artwork by this artist is a painting sold in 1985, at Sotheby's, and the most recent auction result is a sculpture-volume sold in 2021.'s price levels for this artist are based on 1,228 auction results. Especially: painting, print-multiple, sculpture-volume, drawing-watercolor.

Distribution by price (by Artprice)

One art work by Castellani will soon be available in auction rooms

Estroflessione (1968)

(No Image Available)


30 x 30 x 2 cm

Estimate: $ 2,128 - $ 2,601

15 Apr 2021


(lot # 163)


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