In the present work, Superficie Bianca
from 2003, Castellani's signature use of shaped canvases and protuberance is combined with a masterful employment of light, which the artist utilizes as part of the media. Composed of a brilliant white surface which has been imbued with a sensation of movement through the regular shaping of the canvas, the current lot reveals the complexity of Castellani’s technique: using a nail gun, the artist creates an undulating canvas that ripples elegantly within the space it occupies. The result is a work that combines clarity of form with a highly innovative utilisation of a two dimensional plane to appropriate an almost sculptural language.
As observed by Germano Celant: "Light illuminates the reliefs, creates shadows and reflections, flattens and highlights the surfaces, and thus confers existence on the painting. Therefore Castellani could not fail to gradually approach its splendour through the use of the absolute colour white, which radiates, slides across and unifies the surface and at the same time functions as a register of total freedom." (Germano Celant cited in: Exh. Cat., Milan, Fondazione Prada, Enrico Castellani
, 2001, p. 17).
A contemporary of Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, Enrico Castellani has been a leading voice of the Azimuth Group in Milan and one the most important and recognized Italian artists. With his renowned breakthrough Superfici, Castellani developed the aesthetic canons introduced by Art Informel and explored the discourse that later headed towards Conceptual and Minimal art.