Enrico Castellani (1930-2017)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Enrico Castellani (1930-2017)

Superficie Rossa

Enrico Castellani (1930-2017)
Superficie Rossa
signed, titled and dated 'Enrico Castellani 1985 Superficie Rossa' (on the reverse)
acrylic on shaped canvas
39 3/8 x 31 ½in. (100 x 80cm.)
Executed in 1985
Cardi Galleria d'Arte, Milan (acquired directly from the artist).
Poleschi Arte, Milan.
Private Collection, Florence.
Anon. sale, Sotheby's Milan, 26 November 2013, lot 33.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
R. Wirz and F. Sardella (eds.), Enrico Castellani. Catalogo ragionato. Tomo secondo. Opere 1955-2005, Milan 2012, no. 569 (illustrated in colour, p. 473).
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.
Post lot text
This work is registered with the Fondazione Enrico Castellani, Milan, under no. 85-006.

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Paola Saracino Fendi
Paola Saracino Fendi

Lot Essay

Striations of red rise and recede across Enrico Castellani’s Superficie Rossa, 1985, a vivid example of the artist’s long-lasting meditation on an infinite surface. In 1959, Castellani began his celebrated series of Superficies, for which the artist drove nails into the back of a canvas to produce a rippling surface geometry. Striving to negate figural expression, Castellani sought to rid his canvases of the artist’s hand by insisting upon an artificial detachment. Initially using multiple colours in the Superficies, Castellani settled on the purity of monochrome, a decision which art historian Germano Celant noted ‘mutes the application of the paint and the brushstroke, and therefore the maker’s gesture’ (G. Celant, ‘Behind the Picture: Enrico Castellani’, Enrico Castellani, exh. cat., Fondazione Prada, Milan, 2001, p. 16). Indeed, in the uniform red of Superficie Rossa is the visual embodiment of Castellani’s hope for an aesthetic neutrality. As the artist himself declared, ‘The need to find new modes of expression is animated by the need for the absolute. To meet this requirement, the only possible compositional criterion is that through the possession of an elementary entity – a line, an indefinitely repeatable rhythm and a monochrome surface – it is necessary to give the works themselves the concreteness of infinity that may endure the conjugation of time, the only conceivable dimension – the yardstick and the justification of our spiritual need’ (E. Castellani, ‘Continuità e nuovo’, Azimuth no. 2, Milan, 1960, n. p.).

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