Antonio Catelani

Italy, 1962. Lives and works in Milan

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Since the mid-1980s, Antonio Catelani has been engaged in a reflection on the regulatory processes in the field of sculpture, with clear references to architecture. Each action is a particular sounding out of the status of the work, where the physical nature of the sculpture is driven to the uncertain borderline between project and object, through a weakening of the boundaries that separate the various disciplines. Formal reduction does not lead to the objectification inherent in Minimalism and indeed differs from it through the discontinuity and provisional nature of its forms, as well as through an excess of meanings and perceptive data. The model becomes a paradigmatic body of this condition and conception of transient reality, which is constantly changing and never fully presentiatable. It can, however, be intuited by means of bipolar affirmations which never cease to shift the stated datum into a dialectic dimension filled with contradictions. Doppio ordine (1985), Ordinare (1986), Modelli (1987), Prolungarsi (1988) and Tipologie (1988) all date from these years. In the 1990s, the direction shifts in terms of form but not of substance, with a new focus on painting. What emerges is, however, a form of meta-painting that is subject to the laws of gravity. This tends to be objectivised to the extent that, through a metonymic function, it does away with the distinction between matter and image. This cycle includes Il corpo del colore (1995), Madreforma (1997) and Concordia (1999). Even when the evidence seems to point towards a greater focus on the painting process and the inclusion of the work in a particular disciplinary field, as is the case of the oil paintings of 2000, there is nevertheless a substantial shift of field, which is made possible by the use of a technique borrowed from the world of printing. The laying of the oil colour using a screen-print frame leads to absolute flatness, to a depersonalisation of the action and to the disappearance of texture. This can be seen in Trapezio (2000), Talea (2001) and Ipercromo (2002). The reticulation and modernist grid reappear in Reziario (2006), even though in a softer, flexed manner. The image obtained appears as a limited portion of something that extends beyond the physical perimeter of the work. It has no precise spatial definition but, in the fold and fringing, it hints at a potential geometrical and structural extension. The reticular element also constitutes a clear outline of what is absent within: a place than is obliterated and reduced to more than a slim outline. In the new Assenze cycle of paintings of 2009, we see a significant shift towards the monochrome that Catelani reconfigures on the uncertain borderline between image and objectification of the plane. Verification of the physical plane of the painting, closely bound to the ontological level, is taken right through to the act of touching the painted surface, which immediately shifts attention from the visual sphere to that of touch, invalidating the chromatic factor. Blacks and greys, as well as metallic tones, firmly establish the absence and the inconsistent trace, in the negative, of a dubitative action. The trace we notice on the canvas here is thus the only concrete evidence of an event. This is also true of the Limen series (2010), in which the tactile, tautological repetition of the edge of the canvas indicates the boundary within which the painting is formed and, through extensions and releases, it reveals the tension of the painting surface in its entirety. Through the application and release of pressure on the screen-print frame, it is left to the colour itself to spread out or rise up according the inherent tectonics of the painted surface. In the recent installations, Turnturm (2010) and Twisted (2010), it is once again the plane which generates volumes and voids, and thus introduces the third dimension. The sculpture consists of elements in black cardboard and metal parts which, despite its solid look, actually create a thin body that contains a void, the physical inconsistency of which refers back to the two-dimensional plane that generated it. Similarly, it is the superimposition of the module-elements that lead to the sculpture being raised to architectural status. Klettersteig (2010), a slender sculpture in curved aluminum tubes, consists of numerous circumferences moulded around a classical column, rising up from base to capital. Deprived of the physical and semantic support of the material body of the column, the various parts lie on the ground like pieces of wreckage, one on top of the other, annihilating the elevation that created them. The work thus appears as a simulacrum and the result of an operation that goes from potency to action / from action to inaction. Each cycle of works is brought about by bringing their antecedents into question, by breaking them down into their constituent individual linguistic propositions and, from these, reassembling them to create new assertions. For Catelani, de-construction always implies a memory of provenance and of place, where the grammatical value of each enunciation is made manifest by a close/distant reading which demands constant focusing, from detail to general and vice versa. What is brought into play is therefore a thought which is digressive but, at the same time, also one that returns to the specific discipline.




Born 1962, Florence, Italy
1981-85 State Academy of Fine Arts, Florence
1995-96 Artist-in-residence (Stipendium der): Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart
based in Berlin for 10 years (2007-17) currently lives and works in Milan

His work has been exhibited at such venues as:

XLIII Biennale di Venezia, Venezia (1988)
Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (1989)
Frankfurter Kunstverein-Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt/M (1989)
PAC: Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan (1986, 1989, 1998)
Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel (1991)
Museum Moderner Kunst -MUMOK- Vienna (1991)
Berlinische Galerie/Martin Gropius-Bau, Berlin (1992)
Galleria d’Arte Contemporanea, Trent (1993)
Museo archeologico, Florence (1994)
Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (1995)
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome (1995, 2001, 2016)
Künstlerhaus Villa Romana, Florence (1992)
Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz (1997, 2005, 2013)
Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (1988, 1989)
Quadriennale d’Arte di Roma, Rome (XII-1996, XV- 2008)
Museo Pecci, Prato (1991,1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2012)
Skive Kunstmuseum, Skive, Denmark (1992)
Centro Arte Contemporanea Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena (1999)
X Biennale internazionale di scultura Città di Carrara, Carrara (2000)
Palazzo Fabroni Arti Visive, Pistoia, (2001, 2002, 2004)
Museo MAN, Nuoro (2005)
Museo Marino Marini, Florence (2006)
MoCA, Shanghai, China (2006)
Expo 2005 Italian pavilion Aichi, Japan (2005)
Botschaft der Italienischen Republik, Berlin (2010)
Kunsthalle-Riegel, Riegel (2010)
Volkswagen Pavillon, Wolfsburg-Autostadt (2012)
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2012)
Polo Museale -Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence (2012)
Kunstverein, Bludenz (2001, 2013)
Museo Novecento, Florence (2014, 2018)

Works in Public Collections include:

Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome
Museum Moderner Kunst – MUMOK- Vienna
CIMAC, Palazzo Reale, Milan
Museo Pecci, Prato
Galleria d’Arte Moderna GAM, Bologna
Palazzo delle Papesse Arte Contemporanea, Siena
Collection Banca Intesa Sanpaolo, Turin
Collection Eni-Agip, Milan
Raccolta del Disegno Galleria Civica, Modena
Fondazione Teseco, Pisa
Collezione Farnesina/Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome
Collezione/Premio Suzzara, Mantova
Mac,n Museo d’Arte Contemp. e Novecento, Monsummano T., Pistoia
Museo Novecento, Florence
Fondazione Domus, Verona

Curatorial Projects (Selection)

1994: Galleria Schema, Firenze, curator of the exhibition: Dono: -Giulio Paolini, Jannis Kounellis, Daniela De Lorenzo, Fabio Cresci-
since 1998: co-founder / co-curator – BASE progetti per l’Arte, Firenze – solo exhibitions / site-specific works by: -Sol Lewitt, Marco Bagnoli, Alfredo Pirri, Cesare Pietroiusti, Jan Vercruysse, Niele Toroni, Michael Galasso, Luca Pancrazzi, John Nixon & Marco Fusinato, Heimo Zobernig, Ingo Springenschmid, Paolo Masi, Antonio Muntadas, Remo Salvadori, Robert Barry, Luca Vitone, Liliana Moro, Claude Closky, Pietro Sanguineti-
2003: S.R.I.S.A., Firenze, curator of the exhibition: Counterprint: -Carlo Guaita, Paolo Parisi-
2006: Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz, co-curator of the exhibition: Scirocco: -Diego Perrone, Gianni Caravaggio, Giovanni Ozzola, Davide Rivalta, Emanuele Becheri-
2013: Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz, curator of the exhibition: Distracting Surface: -Olafur Eliasson, Matt Mullican, Giulio Paolini, Riccardo Previdi, Karin Sander, Sara Sizer, Sophie Tottie- (catalogue pdf)
2014 co-founder / co-curator – Peninsula- artistrun space, Berlin
2016: We-Gallery, Berlin, curator of the exhibition: Shifts in Register: Stefano Arienti, Antonio Catelani, Daniela De Lorenzo
RizzutoGallery, Palermo, curator of the exhibition: Sosta: Øystein Aasan, Giuseppe Adamo, Antonio Catelani, Francesco De Grandi, Daniela De Lorenzo, Claudio Gobbi, Gianfranco Maranto, Toni Romanelli, Rainer Splitt, Francesco Surdi

Solo Exhibitions (°monographic catalogues)

Galleria Carini, Firenze
° (catalogue: text by E.Grazioli)
Galleria Matteo Remolino, Torino

Studio Guenzani, Milano -Pendant-

Studio G7, Bologna

Studio Guenzani, Milano -Compresenze-
° (catalogue: texts by G. Verzotti, E.Grazioli)
Künstlerhaus Villa Romana, Flirenze -Architettonico e Pittoresco- (with Thomas Lange)
(curator: K.M.Burmeister)

Galleria Roberto Monti, Modena

Galleria Oddi Baglioni, Roma
Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart -il corpo del colore-
° (catalogue: texts by C. Christov-Bakargiev, J-B. Joly)

Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Roma
° (Partito preso, curator: A. Mattirolo – catalogue: text by C. Sisi)
Galleria La Nuova Pesa, Roma (with Daniela De Lorenzo)
° (catalogue text by: S. Cincinelli)

Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Siena -Madreforma-

Galleria Gianluca Collica, Catania

° catalogue – dritto e traverso – texts by: S. Cincinelli, E. Grazioli, G. Paolini
published by Fondazione Teseco, Pisa

Galerie Kubinski, Berlin -Trapezi-

Kunstverein Art Bludenz, Bludenz -Talee-
° (catalogue text by: G. Maragliano)

Galleria No Code, Bologna -Ipercromo-

Incontri a Montellori, Fucecchio
-Double- (with Daniela De Lorenzo) curator: L. Cherubini  °(catalogue)

Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz -Ipercromo-
° (catalogue text by: G. Maragliano)

Galerija Contra, Koper -Reziario-

Galleria Maria Grazia Del Prete, Roma -Verbinden- (curator: M. Panzera)

Riss(e), Varese -Rejected works- (curator: E. Cristini)

Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz – Serie Blu –

RizzutoGallery, Palermo -Assonometrie- (with Alice Cattaneo)

RitaUrso-Artopia Gallery -REDOX- (curator: D.Filardo, catalogue)

RizzutoGallery, Palermo -doppio soggetto- (with Luca Pancrazzi)
Riss(e), Varese -Farepiano-  (with Alessandra Spranzi)

Group Exhibitions (Selection)

Galleria Schema, Firenze -Scultura- (curator: M. L. Frisa)
Palazzo della Ragione, Bergamo -Desideretur-
(curator: A. Bonito Oliva)
Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milano -Il cangiante-
(curator: C. Levi)
Galleria Piero Cavellini, Milano
Galleria Carini, Firenze (curators: M. L. Frisa-L. Parmesani)
Galleria Buades, Madrid -Spunti di giovane arte italiana-
(curator: C. Levi)
Studio Marconi, Milano -Arte nuova d’Italia-
(curators: G. Di Pietrantonio-M. L. Frisa)
Castello di Rivara, Rivara, Torino -Equinozio d’Autunno-
(curator: F. Paludetto)
Studio Scalise, Napoli, Catelani-De Lorenzo-Guaita,
(curator: G. Di Pietrantonio)
Rotonda della Besana, Milano -Geometrie dionisiache-
(curator: L. Vergine)
XLIII Biennale di Venezia, Venezia -Aperto ’88-
(curator: G. Carandente)
Castello di Volpaia, Radda in Chianti, Siena -Da Zero all’Infinito-
(curators: G. Di Pietrantonio-L. Parmesani)
Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna -Acquisizioni-
(curator: P.G. Castagnoli)
Castello di Rivara, Rivara, Torino -Palestra- (curator: V. V. Gioia)
Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milano -10 Anni di Acquisizioni-
Kölnischer Kunstverein, Köln -Die Erste Ausstellung-
(curator: W. Herzogenrath)
Frankfurter Kunstverein-Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt/M.
-Prospect ’89- (curator: P. Weiermair)
Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna -Materialmente-
(curators: D. Auregli-C. Marabini)
Galerie Montenay, Paris -Passions- (curator: E. Grazioli)
Museo Pecci, Prato -Una scena emergente-
(curators: A. Barzel-E. Grazioli)
Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel -Kunst Europa-
(curator: H. Georgsdorf)
Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Wien
-La scena- (curator: L. Hegyi)
Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin -Korrespondenzen-
(curators: U. Prinz-G. Maragliano)
Galleria Comunale d’Arte, Cesena -Il Teatro dell’Arte-
(curator: V. Coen)
Skive Kunstmuseum, Skive
Galleria d’Arte Contemporanea, Trento -Screening-
(curator: D. Eccher)
Museo archeologico, Firenze -Turbare il tempo-
(curator: S. Cincinelli)
Galleria Eva Menzio, Torino -Millenovecentonovantaquattro- (curator: F. Fossati)
XII Quadriennale d’Arte di Roma, Roma
Palazzo Casali, Cortona -Il formaggio e i vermi-
(curators: M. Scotini/L. Vecere)
XXIII Biennale di scultura, Gubbio -Forma urbis- (curator: B. Corà)
Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz -Licht, Raum…
Schwarz: Beckman, Catelani, Egender, Lasker, Umberg-
(curator: I. Springenschmid)
Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milano -Due o tre cose che
so di loro…- (curator: M. Meneguzzo)
Museo Pecci, Prato -Au rendez-vous des amis- (curator: B. Corà)
Holzpavillon im Mirabellgarten, Salzburg -Trend zum Leisen- (curator: R. Caldura)
Centro Arte Contemporanea Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena
-Itinere2: Catelani, Spalletti, Taaffe, Toroni, Tuttle-
(curators: S. Risaliti-A. Natalini)
Galleria The Box Associati, Torino -Super-Abstr-Action-
(curator: A. Busto)
Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris
X Biennale internazionale Città di Carrara (curator: A. Paolucci)
Museo Pecci, Prato -Futurama-
(curators: R. Gavarro-M. Meneguzzo)
Palazzo Fabroni Arti Visive, Pistoia -Abitanti- (curator: M. Panzera)
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Sala Mazzoniana/Stazione Termini, Roma -Contemporaneo Temporaneo-
Museo Pecci, Prato -Continuità 1990-2000- (curator: J-C. Ammann)
Palazzo Fabroni Arti Visive, Pistoia -Continuità 1968-1989-
(curator: D. Soutif)
Galleria No Code, Bologna, -Super-Abstr-Action 2-
C-ARTE Prato, Prato -Collezione permanente-
(curator: S. F. Namioka)
Palazzo Fabroni Arti Visive, Pistoia -Sonde-
(curators: B. Corà-M. Panzera)
C/O CareOf, Milano -La sezione equatoriale-
(curators: L. Scartabelli-E. Vladilo)
Man, Nuoro -BYO. Bring Your Own-
(curators: S. Cincinelli-A. Mugnaini)
Expo Universale di Aichi, Padiglione Italia, Aichi
Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Siena -Senza confine-
MoCA, Shanghai -Il tempo delle trasformazioni-Arte Europea dal Centro Pecci-
Museo Marino Marini, Firenze -Are you sensitive?-
(curator: D. Filardo)
Museo Arte Contemporanea e Novecento, Monsummano Terme
-Misure del Tempo- (curator: G. Uzzani)
Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Roma -XV Quadriennale d’Arte di Roma-
SPAC, Buttrio, Udine -Un bel posto per dimenticare-
(curator P. Toffolutti)
91mQ.Art Project Space, Berlin -Roaming: Streaming Time- (curator: A. Castiglioni)
Temporäre Kunsthalle, Berlin -Zeigen. An Audio Tour through Berlin by Karin Sander- (curator: K. Sander)
Kunsthalle-Riegel, Riegel – Kunstpreis der Messmer Foundation –
Forum Stadpark, Graz -Roaming: Absence of everything-
(curator: A. Castiglioni)
Botschaft der Italienischen Republik, Berlin -ITaliens-
-junge Kunst in der Botschaft- (curators: A. Pace – M. Sorbello)
Assab One, Milano -Dialogos-
-Made in Filandia 2011- Pieve a Presciano, Arezzo (curator: Luca Pancrazzi)
Polo museale-Galleria dell’Accademia, Firenze -Arte torna Arte-
(curators: Franca Falletti, Daria Filardo, Bruno Corà)
Museo Pecci Milano,  -rapporto confidenziale-
(curator: Stefano Pezzato)
Eva Menzio, Torino, – Madeinfilandia presenta: Muro di China –
Galleria Il Ponte, Firenze -Un ritrovarsi amichevole e piacevole-
(curator: Mauro Panzera)
Wolfsburg Autostadt  – Italiens – Italienische Künstler im Volkswagen Pavillon-
(curators: A. Pace – M. Sorbello)
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin – Labor12/Drifting
(curator: Valerie Smith)
Kunstverein Art Bludenz, Bludenz – Catelani, Guaita, DeLorenzo, Masi, Parisi –
Galerie Fuerstein, Feldkirk, -auf Papier-
Greenhouse, Berlin, -Conjunction- (curator: D. Reifenberg)
WiE Kultur, Berlin -natura naturata- (curator: Chen Yang)
Hosted by James Austin, Berlin -6 Rooms- (curator: A. Pace)
Artopia Gallery, Milano -Luce Coatta, dischiusure- (curator: S. Cincinelli)
Museo Novecento, Firenze -Collezione permanente- (curator: V. Gensini)
Peninsula c/o MILA Kunstgalerie, Berlin, -Exploring Resilience-
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino -ImagoMundi:Praestigium- (curator: L.Beatrice)
Palazzo Panciatichi, San Giovanni Valdarno -La camera delle meraviglie- (curator: P. Gaglianò)
Villino Favaloro, Palermo -Le Stanze D’Aragona- (curators: A. Bruciati, H. Marsala)
We Gallery, Berlin -Shifts in register: Arienti / Catelani / De Lorenzo – (curator: A. Catelani)
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Roma -The Lasting. L’intervallo e la durata- (curator: S. Cincinelli)
Centro Arte moderna e Contemp. Casa Masaccio, San Giovanni -La pittura come modello-
(curators: S.Cincinelli, C.Collu)
RizzutoGallery, Palermo -Sosta- (curator: A.Catelani)
RizzutoGallery, Palermo -Quantum Leap
StudioMugnaini, Milano -Spunti per anni ‘80- (curator: A. Mugnaini)
Space 4235, Genova -Camminare l’orizzonte/Deriva- (curator: E. Cristini)
MIART, Milano c/o RizzutoGallery -Catelani, De Grandi, Rapisarda
Fondazione Bandera per l’Arte, Busto Arsizio -Prière de Toucher 6- (curators: E. Cristini, L. Scarabelli)
Palazzo Binelli Fondazione CRC Carrara, Uguali/Disuguali (curators: N.Ricci, G.Pellizzola)
Museo Novecento, Firenze,  Il disegno del disegno (curator: S.Cincinelli)
Kunsthalle West, Lana (BZ) – Walkabout/Passo mobile
BoCS-Art, Cosenza (curator: G. Di Pietrantonio)
Castel Sismondo, Rimini -Revolutions 1989/2019- (curator: L. Beatrice)


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