Castellani | Sculpture will debut previously unseen aluminium cast wall sculptures by Enrico Castellani (1930–2017), a hero of the European post-war avant-garde. This will be the first presentation in the UK of the sculptures that preoccupied the late Italian master during his later years. A few highlight works from the exhibition will debut at 40 Albemarle Street ahead of the exhibition opening on 15 January 2021 at 22 Old Bond Street.
Completed between the years of 2006 to 2013, the works in this exhibition suggest important links to the artist's earliest experiments in metal, and evince his skill in pushing the boundaries of materiality and space. From the early 1960s onward, Castellani experimented with brass, zinc, bronze, and other plastic or ductile materials capable of being modelled for small groups of works. The catalyst for his late aluminium series was an abiding interest in mirrored surfaces and his experiments using glass with a silver interior.
While deceptively similar to his paintings, Castellani's wall-based sculptures, weighing between 20 and 350kg, have a distinctive presence and create extraordinary visual experiences for the viewer through their surfaces and the ways in which they occupy space. Seen together for the first time, these works spotlight the enduring radicality of Castellani's approach, and serve as both climax of and coda to decades of his tireless experimentation in the iterations of his renowned 'Surfaces' works.
Highlights of the exhibition include Superficie argento (2006), a dramatic nine-panel work that encapsulates Castellani's preoccupation with space, surface, and materiality, and Superficie rossa (2006). These and other works from this historic series are juxtaposed with an untitled standing sculpture comprising four scales from 1973, a work that embodies the force of Castellani's decades-long investigation into positive and negative space, and his ambition to establish a potent artistic language that continues to influence younger generations of artists today.
Press release courtesy Lévy Gorvy.