Enrico Castellani was born in Castelmassa, in the province of Rovigo, in 1930.
He completed his studies in Novara and Milan. In 1952 he moved to Brussels, Belgium, where he studied painting and sculpture at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts. In 1956 he graduated in architecture from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Cambre. The same year he moved to Milan.
In 1959 he founded, together with Piero Manzoni, the art gallery and the homonymous magazine Azimuth. Thus began his artistic adventure within these two realities, covering, within them, purely organizational and theoretical tasks. He exhibited at the Azimuth Gallery in 1960. In the same years he joined the Zero and Nul groups. Abandoning the informal results, he devoted himself to the first interventions on an everted and painted canvas which would later become his unmistakable stylistic code. He exhibited, in 1961, at the La Tartaruga Gallery in Rome (and so in 1965, 1966, 1970, 1974); while in 1962 at the Galerie d'Aujourd'hui in Brussels, and in 1963 at the Galleria dell'Ariete in Milan, where he will return to exhibit also in 1972. From 1963 to 1970 the poetics of the surface gives way to the object and attention the artist focuses on the study of the formal articulations of the surface: shaped canvases, angular, diptychs and triptychs.
In 1964 he exhibited at the La Polena Gallery and the Notizie Gallery in Turin. During these years, Enrico Castellani took part in numerous collective and personal exhibitions held both in Italy and abroad. In 1966 he won the Gollin prize at the Venice Biennale. The same year he exhibited again at the Galleria Notizie in Turin, at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York and at the Tokyo Gallery in Tokyo. In 1970 he exhibited at the Galerie m in Bochum; he exhibited at the Forma Gallery in Genoa in 1972. From the mid-1970s to the 1980s he held numerous personal exhibitions, including those at the Galleria Notizie and the Galleria La Nuova Città in Brescia in 1974; at the Sala della Scuderia alla Pilotta, Rome; at the Galleria la Polena, Genoa; at the Ariete Grafica, Milan and at the Galleria Peccolo, Livorno in 1976; at the Galleria Mazzoli, Modena, and at Studio La Città, Verona in 1979. In the 80s and 90s his work continues to develop in the field of extroflection, within an idea that critics wanted to define as " different repetition "