Enrico Castellani, who Donald Judd called "the father of Minimalism", died yesterday at the age of 87.
Born in the Castelmassa municipality in North-Eastern Italy, Enrico Castellani studied sculpture and painting at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in 1952, and architecture at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Belgium. In 1956, he returned to Italy and befriended the artists Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni.
With the latter, Castellani cofounded the Azimuth journal and Azimut gallery in Milan, presenting the works of Fontana, Jasper Johns, Yves Klein, Robert Rauschenberg, Jean Tinguely, Günter Uecker and others. The gallery and magazine were only active for a short period of time (September 1959 to July 1960) but proved influential. They were the subject of a recent exhibition at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, in 2014.
Azimut exhibited a number of artists connected with the ZERO group, which Castellani was then associated with for a number of years.
Castellani's work has been exhibited at the MoMA, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Stedelijk Museum, the Prada Foundation, the Palais des Beaux Arts and countless other institutions.
He represented Italy at the Venice Biennale four times across five decades: in 1964, 1966, 1984 and 2003.