Artist: Ettore Spalletti
Venue: Helga de Alvear, Madrid
Date: January 13 – March 12, 2010
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Helga de Alvear, Madrid
Ettore Spalletti was born in Cappelle sul Tavo (Pescara) in 1940, and started exhibiting in the early 80’s. He has participated in the Venice Biennale on several occasions, and his work constitutes a landmark in the Italian art scene of the past decades.
Without a doubt, the chief characteristic of his work is its formal simplicity: these are monochromes, usually in a recurring series of colours (grey, light blue, pink and white) which, in turn, provide the title of the work. From this very moment – that of titling the piece – Spalletti makes clear the purpose of his work: what you see is what it is.
These are regular, and almost always pure shapes, in which, sometimes, there is a small transformation, a diagonal cut, which prompts the appearance of another plane: an apparently minimal nuance which, nevertheless, constitutes a fundamental change. His exempt works are “columns” or “glasses” which are still premised on geometric nature, while reclaiming their origin in the Classical world. For the artist, paintings and sculptures end up forming a unity with space.
Technically, painting is applied following the methodology which the artist calls “impasto”, and which relates these paintings to the tradition of the fresco, while at the same time making them gain materiality by emphasising tactile qualities, and sets them apart from easel painting in order to enter the realms of sculpture and the third dimension. He also uses pure materials: pigments and stones in their original colour, with no other manipulation but the cut and the point of view.
Spalletti aims to withdraw from Minimalism, and reclaims his roots in the Italian Renaissance. Indeed, his colours are those of Piero de la Francesca or Fra Angelico, and his use of gold leaf (which could be severely criticized by Alberti) sets him definitely aside from Arte Povera. These are works that aim at beauty as an unequivocal form, that aspire to the sublime in an unquestionable manner, and that avoid coolness with a decisive commitment to sensuality. Here, every reflection, every highlight, every tactile sensation, is vital. Spalletti understands the contemplation of the art work as a relationship in which time and space do matter.
Ettore Spalleti’s work has participated in the Documenta 7 and 9 in Kassel, in the Venice Biennale on three occasions, in the Mu?nster Projects, and has been exhitited in Spain in the IVAM (Valencia) and La Caixa Foundation (Madrid and Barcelona).