Gallery: Pékin Fine Arts
Artist(s): Phénix Varbanov
Opening / Event Date: 28 Jul, 2023
Closing / End Date: 30 Sep, 2023
Massimo De Carlo gallery is pleased to present Superfici/Surfaces/雕面, the first solo show by the renowned Italian painter Enrico Castellani (1930) in China.
The exhibition will be composed by a range of fundamental works spanning from the early seventies to the first decade of 2000, retracing the career of this Italian master who was associated with the Zero movement and the magazine Azimuth, created with fellow artist and friend Piero Manzoni. Enrico Castellani was a key figure of the flourishing European avant-garde scene of the 1950’s and 1960’s tackling minimalism, spatiality and revolutionizing the notion of canvas.
The show focuses on the seminal body of work Superfici (Surfaces): shaped relief canvases that Castellani started working on as early as 1959 and is still producing. These canvases signify and mark a historical moment when there was an essential quest for the dimensional and a land marking shift in the use of the canvas: it was no longer confined to being a background tool in aide of the abstract gesture but an active, physical and expanding surface that demands to exist.
Each painting in the exhibition invites the viewer to reflect on one of the key topics of Castellani’s practice: the relationship between space and time. Repetition is addressed through the shape of the works and the different colours that the artist chooses in order to highlight his rigorous approach to the gestural.
Grey, black, white and purple monochrome surfaces evoke the industrial Milanese sky, the city where his works were made, and emphasize the importance of light in defining the new dimensionality of the canvas. As put by Enrico Castellani himself in an interview to the magazine Azimuth in 1960: “ Through the monochrome surfaces of these work I try to capture the concreteness of infinity.”
This exhibition offers an insightful survey into the historical importance of the work of Enrico Castellani and his severe approach to the translation in to art of the investigation of space, intertwining depth, width and luminosity oscillating though rigidity and gentleness.