Browse Lots

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Enrico Castellani (b. 1930)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Enrico Castellani (b. 1930)

Superficie bianca

Enrico Castellani (b. 1930)
Superficie bianca
signed and dated ‘E. Castellani 1966’ (on the stretcher)
acrylic on shaped canvas
39.3/8 x 31½ in. (100 x 80 cm.)
Executed in 1966

This work is registered in the Archivio Enrico Castellani, Milan, under no. 66/007 and it is sold with a photo-certificate signed by the artist.
Galleria Notizie, Turin.
Proposte d'Arte, Legnano.
Galleria Toselli, Milan.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
R. Wirz & F. Sardella, Enrico Castellani. Catalogo ragionato. Tomo secondo. Opere 1955-2005, vol. II, Milan 2012, no. 220 (illustrated in colour, p. 373).
Turin, Galleria Notizie, Aspetti dell’Avanguardia in Italia, 1966.
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Brought to you by

Alessandro Diotallevi
Alessandro Diotallevi

Lot Essay

I learnt to "read" the fascination of Castellani's monochrome surfaces a long time ago, but even now I like to turn the work around and observe the methodical, precise, complex "construction" that can be seen on its reverse. A work that is crazy to imagine, that calls for faith in one's own creativity, that verges on religiosity. In the rhythm that they will produce on the front of the canvas, the study and arrangement of the nails implies a deep concentration bordering on obsession for the final result. Castellani pursues the unlimited potentialities of a finite, monochrome surface: this quest was to remain constant and consistent through the years. As though before an immense horizon to be discovered and reinvented.
On his surfaces, each nail corresponds to two points: hollow and relief, light and shadow. A game that is endless, just as its solutions are infinite: as many as the rhythmic paths it is possible to imprint on his canvases. His works are the testimony of a complex investigation of light: the threedimensionality pursued with the system of the nails, plays entirely in favour of the surface, at the moment in which it is bathed in light. In fact, depending on the source of the light (and its quality: concentrated and direct rather than diffused) and the different points of observation, the work's reality is revealed as a space with a thousand possible readings. In a certain sense, "unfathomable" in its totality. Someone once commented that Castellani’s surfaces are spaces of contemplation, and I think this stems from the religiosity I mentioned earlier.
In Castellani's canvases the harmony of the rhythms combines perfectly with the concepts of space and time. Like in this Superficie bianca (White Surface) of 1966, of excellent provenance and great beauty. It offers infinite possibilities of interpretation, in the subtle contrast of light/dark, as well as in the dynamic nature of the multiple visual cross-references, from one side of the surface to the other, without a precise direction to follow, other than the one chosen by the viewer.

More from Eyes Wide Open: An Italian Vision

View All
View All