b. 1940 in Cappelle sul Tavo, Italy
Lives and works in Pescara, Italy
Ettore Spalletti, a seminal figure in Italian Minimalism and the Arte Povera movement, explores geometry,
precision, and the spiritual power of simple materials in his practise. In his extremely simple, painted columnar
forms and monochromatic paintings, Spalletti simultaneously suggests classical structures and explores
the formal qualities of Renaissance painting. Favouring the impasto technique of traditional Italian painting for
its depth of color and potential to yield extremely reflective surface textures, Spalletti applies paint to marble
and other raw materials to create luminous and sublime three-dimensional paintings, and has thus created a body
of work where light plays poetically on subtly coloured surfaces, evoking a very personal story.
He has never left his native Pescara, on the shores of the Adriatic, and the landscapes of this region are often to be
seen in his work, represented by a simple ridge line. The surfaces of the paintings and their volumes, their edges
and their corners are lovingly fashioned, polished and buffed to produce a very particular luminosity. These are
more than simply paintings or sculptures; Spalletti’s works create sensitive spaces that change the perception
of the spectator. Where Kounellis, Merz and Anselmo used basic and “humble” materials, Spalletti reduces shapes
to their essential components, and enhances colours by giving them both a tactile and metaphysical dimension.
Spalletti has exhibited in major museums worldwide, and important solo exhibitions have been presented at the
Museum Folkwang, Essen, De Appel Art Center, Amsterdam, Kunstverein Munchen, the Musée d’art Moderne de
la Ville de Paris and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York. He represented Italy at the Venice Biennale
in 1997, took part in the 1982, 1993 and 1995 editions, and has been shown at Documenta in Kassel in 1982 and 1993.