Leo Castelli Gallery

Variant names

Hide Profile

Leo Castelli Gallery (est. 1957) art gallery, New York, N.Y.

Leo Castelli (1907-1999), founder of Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, N.Y.

He established the Leo Castelli Gallery in 1957, recognizing that important cultural changes were occuring in America and that a new form of art would derive from Abstract Expressionism which was in its heyday. The first two artists he signed up were Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, both transitional figures in the move from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. Castelli became known as one of the greatest salesmen in the art market and an avid supporter of contemporary art movements.

From the description of Leo Castelli Gallery records, circa 1880-2000, bulk 1957-1999. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 779476838

Art gallery; New York, N.Y. Est. 1957.

Leo Castelli, founder of Leo Castelli Gallery, was born Sept. 4, 1907, in Trieste, Italy. He established the Leo Castelli Gallery in 1957, recognizing that important cultural changes were occuring in America and that a new form of art would derive from Abstract Expressionism which was in its heyday. The first two artists he signed up were Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, both transitional figures in the move from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. Castelli became known as one of the greatest salesmen in the art market and an avid supporter of contemporary art movements. Leo Castelli died Aug. 21, 1999, at age 91.

From the description of Leo Castelli Gallery records, circa 1957-1990. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 220238876

Leo Castelli (1907-1999) was one of America's most noted contemporary art dealers and opened the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City in 1957. The gallery showcased cutting edge American contemporary art, including Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Dada, Pop Art, Op Art, Color Field painting, Hard-edge painting, Lyrical Abstraction, Minimal Art, Conceptual Art, and Neo-expressionism, among other movements.

Leo Castelli was born as Leo Krauss on September 4, 1907 in Trieste, of Italian and Austro-Hungarian Jewish origin. He married art dealer Ileana Sonnabend in 1932 and the couple lived in Paris up until World War II. They had a daughter, Nina Castelli Sundell. In Paris, Castelli opened his first gallery in 1939. At that time, he was interested in the European Surrealists.

For years after Castelli moved to New York, he worked in his father-in-law's garment business. However, he organized his first American exhibition in 1951, the famous Ninth Street Show of 1951, a seminal event of Abstract Expressionism.

In 1957, he opened the Leo Castelli Gallery in his townhome on E. 77th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues in New York City. Castelli initially featured European Surrealism, but also curated exhibitions of American Abstract painters, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Friedel Dzubas, and Norman Bluhm.

In 1958, Castelli discovered Pop artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns and forged a life-long nurturing relationship with both artists. The gallery then began focusing more on Pop Art, Minimalism and Conceptual Art. Beginning in the early 1960s, Castelli's stable included Richard Artschwager, Lee Bontecou, Chryssa, John Chamberlain, Ronald Davis, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Joseph Kosuth, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Larry Poons, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.

Leo and Ileana divorced in 1959, and Ileana returned to Europe. She later moved back to New York and opened a gallery close to Castelli's. The two remained close and together they established the joint venture of Castelli-Sonnabend Films and Tapes to accommodate artists interested in new media.

In the 1970s Leo Castelli opened a downtown SoHo branch of the Leo Castelli Gallery at 420 West Broadway. In the 1980s he opened a second larger downtown exhibition space on Greene Street also in SoHo.

Leo Castelli's second wife was Antoinette Castelli, with whom he also opened Castelli Graphics, an art gallery devoted to prints and photographs, mostly those by Castelli artists. The couple also had a son together, Jean-Christophe Castelli. In 1995 Leo Castelli married Italian art historian Barbara Bertozzi Castelli. She directs the Leo Castelli Gallery today, showing many of the same artists of the gallery's past.

Leo Castelli's unparalleled eye for quality, combined with his extraordinary skill for nurturing and promoting new art and artists, secured his position as one of the most respected and influential advocates of contemporary art for nearly five decades.

From the guide to the Leo Castelli Gallery records, circa 1880-2000, bulk 1957-1999, (Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Bontecou, Lee, 1931-. Oral history interview with Lee Bontecou, 2009 Jan. 10. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Franklin Furnace Ephemera Collection, Compiled by Matthew Hogan, ca. 1970 - 2007 (Bulk 1985 - 2007) Fales Library & Special Collections
creatorOf Leo Castelli Gallery. Leo Castelli Gallery records, circa 1880-2000, bulk 1957-1999. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Leo Castelli Gallery. Leo Castelli Gallery records, circa 1957-1990. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Video organization file : Leo Castelli Gallery : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
creatorOf Jean Brown papers, 1916-1995 Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Castelli, Leo. The Leo Castelli Gallery, its life and times. Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Castelli, Leo,. Oral history interview with Leo Castelli, 1997 May 22 [sound recording]. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Castelli, Leo,. Oral history interview with Leo Castelli, 1969 July [sound recording]. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Leo Castelli Gallery. Institutional file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
referencedIn Karp, Ivan C., 1926-. Oral history interview with Ivan C. Karp, 1986 Apr. 18 - 1988 Oct. 18. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Leo Castelli Gallery records, circa 1880-2000, bulk 1957-1999 Archives of American Art
referencedIn Castelli, Leo,. Oral history interview with Leo Castelli, 1969 May 14-1973 June 8 [sound recording]. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Karp, Ivan C., 1926-. Oral history interview with Ivan C. Karp, 1986 Apr. 17-1988 Oct. 18. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Franklin Furnace Ephemera Collection, Compiled by Matthew Hogan ca. 1970-2007 (bulk 1985-2007). Fales Library & Special Collections
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith aCastelli Graphics (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith Artschwager, Richard, 1923- person
associatedWith Barry, Robert, 1936- person
associatedWith Bart, Robert. person
associatedWith Biennale di Venezia. corporateBody
associatedWith Bloom, Barbara person
associatedWith Bloom, Barbara. person
associatedWith Bontecou, Lee, 1931- person
associatedWith Brown, Jean, 1911- person
associatedWith Castelli Graphics (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith Castelli, Leo person
associatedWith Castelli, Leo, person
associatedWith Castelli-Sonnabend Tapes and Films, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Chamberlain, John, 1927-2011. person
associatedWith Christo, 1935- person
associatedWith Chryssa, 1933- person
associatedWith Daphnis, Nassos, 1914- person
associatedWith Darboven, Hanne. person
associatedWith Davis, Ron, 1937- person
associatedWith Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Epstein, Ethel Steuer. person
associatedWith Ferus Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Flavin, Dan, 1933- person
associatedWith Gorgoni, Gianfranco. person
associatedWith Heller, Ben, 1925- person
associatedWith Higgins, Edward, 1930- person
associatedWith Ileana Sonnabend (Gallery) corporateBody
associatedWith Jewish Museum (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Johns, Jasper, 1930- person
associatedWith Judd, Donald, 1928- person
associatedWith Karp, Ivan C., 1926- person
associatedWith Kiesler, Frederick. person
associatedWith Klapheck, Konrad, 1935- person
associatedWith Koons, Jeff person
associatedWith Koons, Jeff. person
associatedWith Krueger, Jack, 1941- person
associatedWith Landsman, Stanley, 1930- person
associatedWith Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923- person
associatedWith Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923- person
associatedWith Marisol, 1930- person
associatedWith Morris, Robert, 1931- person
associatedWith Multiples, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Multiples, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Namuth, Hans. person
associatedWith Nauman, Bruce, 1941- person
associatedWith Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988. person
associatedWith Oldenburg, Claes, 1929- person
associatedWith Paik, Nam June, 1932- person
associatedWith Panza, Giuseppe person
associatedWith Parker, Raymond, 1922- person
associatedWith Poons, Larry. person
associatedWith Power, Alan. person
associatedWith Powers, John, 1916- person
associatedWith Powers, Kimiko person
associatedWith Powers, Kimiko. person
associatedWith Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008. person
associatedWith Rosenquist, James, 1933- person
associatedWith Rosenquist, James, $d1933- person
associatedWith Rowan, Carolyn person
associatedWith Rowan, Carolyn. person
associatedWith Rowan, Robert person
associatedWith Rowan, Robert. person
associatedWith Ruscha, Edward. person
associatedWith Scarpitta, Salvatore, 1919-2007. person
associatedWith Scull, Ethel person
associatedWith Scull, Ethel. person
associatedWith Scull, Robert C. person
associatedWith Scull, Robert C. person
associatedWith Serra, Richard, 1939- person
associatedWith Sidney Janis Gallery. corporateBody
associatedWith Starn, Doug person
associatedWith Starn, Doug. person
associatedWith Starn, Mike. person
associatedWith Stedlijk Museum (Amsterdam, Holland) corporateBody
associatedWith Stedlijk Museum (Amsterdam, Holland) corporateBody
associatedWith Stella, Frank. person
associatedWith Tremaine, Burton person
associatedWith Tremaine, Burton. person
associatedWith Tremaine, Emily Hall, 1908-1987. person
associatedWith Twombly, Cy, 1928- person
associatedWith Tworkov, Jack. person
associatedWith Warhol, Andy, 1928- person
associatedWith Weiner, Lawrence. person
associatedWith Weiner, Lawrence. person
associatedWith Whitney Museum of American Art. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--New York
New York (State)--New York
Subject
Art, Modern--20th century--history
Painters
Gallery owners--local
Art galleries, Commercial
Art, Modern--20th century--History--New York (State)New York
Art dealers
Art galleries, Commercial--New York (State)--New York
Painting, Modern--20th century--History--New York (State)New York
Painting, Modern--20th century--History
Gallery owners
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1916

Active 1995

Americans

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w60d08h0

Ark ID: w60d08h0

SNAC ID: 60765741