First in Show

By

Published May 14, 2009

 

“Enrico Castellani,” the eponymous exhibition of works by 79-year-old sculptor at Haunch of Vension, New York, is a show of firsts. It is the London-based, museum-caliber commercial gallery’s first solo show in its New York branch. But more remarkably, it’s Castellani’s first solo show in New York since 1966. With the help of curator Adachiara Zevi, Castellani is showing his white and metallic silver textured paintings, in which the canvases have been stretched over nail heads. The works date from 2008 and 2009, and are mixed with early paintings and sculptures from the 1960’s, and consistently invoke a decidedly raw type of beauty. As for his place in the canon, Castellani, along with Yves Klein, was identified by Donald Judd as one of the most important European precursors to minimalism and conceptualism. Certainly it holds up the crypto-spiritual weightiness of Judd-inspired installations at Dia:Beacon and Marfa. It’s well matched at the gallery, a white cube suspended twenty stories above Midtown Manhattan.

Enrico Castellani is on view at Haunch of Venison through June 27. Haunch of Venison is located at 1230 Avenue of the Americas, 20th Floor, New York.