Contemporary Art | June 2015 | Enrico Castellani: “Superficie”

Contemporary Art | June 2015 | Enrico Castellani: “Superficie”


Enrico Castellani, like Manzoni, Bonalumi and Scheggi was a predominant protagonist of Milan’s avant-garde scene in the 1960s and is, today, considered one of the most innovative artists of the post-war era. Like Lucio Fonatana and the other contemporary champions of object art Castellani’s nurtured the ambition to penetrate and go beyond painting and the illusory image that traditionally result from it. In 1959, Castellani began to deform the support of the canvas, thus relating it to space and making it perceptible by means of ”extroflexions”, To the experiments of those early years can be also ascribed the work ”Superficie” (Surface), a canvas in relief from the year 1960, without any colours except the natural hue of the material used. The canvas is characterized by a very distinct texture with a perfectly legible weave, its inner rhythm varies in connection with the nails, which, in a perfect balance of contrasting forces, create an elegant alternating pattern of empty and full spaces, of light and shade. This rare Castellani piece is very distinct to his typology of style and illustrates persuasively his aim to create a new and personal expression without the use of composition and paint. It was his clear intention to add as little as possible. As if to convey that the canvas should be left to speak for itself. „The surface makes room for infinite encounters, agonising waits, tautological commensurations, existential suffering and utopian sustantiations.“

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