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12 Oct 2011

Retrospective Enrico Castellani: Italian Avant-garde at Tornabuoni Art, Paris

Enrico Castellani, Red Diptych, 1963
acrylic on embossed canvas, 152x157x20 cm
Courtesy : Tornabuoni Art

Italian avant-garde at Tornabuoni Art with Enrico Castellani
Tornabuoni Art


Thursday, October 13th 2011

October 14th to December 17th 2011
Open from Monday to Saturday
10 am – 6.30 pm

Sylvia Beder
+33 1 42 18 09 42
+33 9 71 52 15 47

Tornabuoni Art
16, avenue Matignon
75008 Paris

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A few days before its tenth participation in FIAC, Tornabuoni Art will inaugurate the most complete retrospective ever devoted to Enrico Castellani in France, to be discovered from October 14th to December 17th 2011. Known for his monochromatic relief canvasses, the avant-garde Castellani (born in Italy in 1930) has built a language marrying form and concept. For this language, which he started in 1959 and to this day remains the focus of his work, Castellani follows a consistent method in which the flatness of a canvas stretched over a frame is contrasted with the use of disturbing elements: nails.

For this retrospective, gallery owners Michele Casamonti and Gaïa Donzet have put together nearly 40 works from the greatest European collections in order to illustrate the variations of this novel language. The exhibition retraces the entire artistic career of Enrico Castellani, from his first creations in 1969, through the works shown at the 1966 Venice Biennale, to the most recent. For the occasion, Tornabuoni Art is publishing a very beautiful catalogue of more than 200 pages, destined to be a milestone. The catalogue is prefaced by Bernard Blistène.

'Rare are those works which compel us to wonder how they were made. Rare are those which lead the attentive viewer to understand or imagine what their structures or even their secrets are. And yet, Castellani's art inexorably compels those who contemplate it to wonder about the system underlying the principle of its production. We have a desire to know how it is designed, how it holds together. We also want to know what lies beneath it'
, writes Bernard Blistène in the catalogue preface.

This retrospective presents the work of a lover of surface as fertile terrain for experimentation where he questions the categories of painting/sculpture, flat/volume, verticality/horizontality

Enrico Castellani's biography

Enrico Castellani was born in 1930 in Castelmassa, Italy. He underwent training at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, where he initially studied painting and sculpture before receiving his degree in architecture. His friendships with Piero Manzoni and Lucio Fontana brought him into contact with important emerging currents in the European avant-garde, resulting in his contributions to the practices of the German group, Zero, and their Dutch counterpart, Nul. With Manzoni, he opened Galleria Azimut in Milan in 1959, which became an important hub of avant-garde activity during its two-year run. Castellani also participated in the Museum of Modern Art's seminal exhibition of Op art, 'The Responsive Eye' of 1965. In that same year, he had an entire room dedicated to his work at the Venice Biennale, for which he won the Premio Gollin award for painters under the age of 40. In October 2010, he won the prestigious 'Praemium Imperiale' award for painting. His artworks are part of the permanent collections of the most famous museums such as the MoMA, the Centre Pompidou, the Prada Collection, the National Gallery of Modern Art in Roma…The artist lives and works in the small Italian town of Celleno.

About Tornabuoni Art

Specializing primarily in Italian art from the second half of the 20th century, the Tornabuoni Art gallery organizes important retrospectives on major post-war Italian artists and exhibitions of groups of fundamental international artists. Tornabuoni Art thus presents significant works by the primary authors of the Italian 'Novecento': De Chirico, Morandi, Balla, Severini, and international avant-garde artists of the 20th century: Picasso, Mirò, Kandinsky, Hartung, Poliakoff, Dubuffet, Lam, Matta, Christo, Warhol, Wesselmann, Basquiat

The Tornabuoni Art gallery inaugurated its space on Avenue Matignon in Paris on October 2009 with an exhibition of Lucio Fontana, which was met with keen interest, followed by a retrospective on Alighiero Boetti in the Spring of 2010. More than 4,000 visitors turned out.

The Paris exhibitions are handled by Michele Casamonti and Gaïa Donzet in collaboration with Tornabuoni Arte in Florence, which was the first gallery created in 1981 by Roberto Casamonti in the street that is its namesake. Since then, Tornabuoni Art has opened galleries in Italy and in Switzerland to be closer to its clients and optimally meet the expectations of its audience of international collectors.

Tornabuoni Art at FIAC: stand n°E 30

From October 20th to 23rd, Tornabuoni Art will participate in the FIAC with a selection of crucial artists for the international art market: Basquiat, Cragg, Lempicka. The gallery also lays the stress on artworks from the major post-war Italian artists from the avant-garde: Fontana, Burri, Boetti, Castellani, Pomodoro...