Enrico Castellani — Rétrospective



Enrico Castellani

Past: October 14 → December 17, 2011

The Tornabuoni Art gallery shows a masterful retrospective devoted to Enrico Castellani through some 45 works of art. Known for his monochromatic embossed canvasses, Castellani (born in 1930) is a major Italian figure associated with the ZERO movement who, by rejuvenating the language of image and form, greatly contributed to the development of avant-garde artists in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s.

After distancing himself from the expressiveness of pictorial portrayal, Enrico Castellani proceeded to produce monochromatic pieces rendered dynamic by the action of disturbing elements: nails. Indeed, behind a canvas stretched over a wood frame, Castellani places nails that raise or lower the canvas and so create an interplay of light and shadow. The Italian Experimentation room opens with one of his works in the new contemporary collections area of the Pompidou Centre. In addition to this public recognition, Enrico Castellani also attracts collectors: his highly sought-after works sometimes go for as much as one million dollars on the auction block.

Canvas as a living membrane

In 1959 Castellani made his first embossed surface, his first “extra-flexed” monochrome, which would be followed by multiple variations in the distribution of the various components. In so doing, he inaugurated his own personal poetics with the technique of “differing repetition”, by carefully choosing the placement of the recesses and reliefs that give rhythm to his canvasses. This autumn, the Tornabuoni Art gallery will present a historical work: a Red Diptych from 1963.

His original approach is considered fundamental for the art history of the 20th century, not only in Italy, but also on the international scene; In particular, Castellani influenced Donald Judd, who saw him as the father of minimalism.

For the occasion of this Castellani exhibition, which is his first major retrospective in a gallery, Tornabuoni Art is publishing a very complete catalogue on the artist with a preface by Bernard Blistène.

Tornabuoni Art Gallery
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8, rue de la Paix

75002 Paris

T. 01 53 53 51 51 — F. 01 53 53 51 50


Franklin D.Roosevelt

Opening hours

Every day except Sunday, 10:30 AM – 6:30 PM

The artist

  • Enrico Castellani