Senza titolo, rosa, 2009
Signed and dated on the reverse
Pigment on shaped panel, gold and silver impasto
40 x 40 cm
15 3/4 x 15 3/4 in
St. Moritz, Robilant+Voena, Ettore Spalletti, 5 July - 7 September 2019
Executed in 2009, this work (Untitled, Pink), is a radically minimalist yet classical display of Ettore Spalleti’s wish to remove from the work any possible psychological content or value recognisable as individual expression. The chromatic power of the chalky pink pigment doesn’t eliminate expressivity however, but evokes instead a serene, soothing and calm construction, similar to a Tiepoloesque sky or a Piero della Francesca background. Usually, Spalletti’s process involved rubbing pigment into gesso, layer by layer over the course of several days, building up and sanding down, to create a desired tone using the impasto technique. Spalletti found inspiration in the Renaissance frescoes of Masaccio and Piero della Francesca, from whom he borrowed the powdery blues and pinks often employed in his own works.
He established himself during the 70s in Italy when the “Arte Povera” movement was revolutionizing the art scene all over Europe. As a man Spalletti may have been contemplative and quiet, but that didn’t mean that as an artist he was detached. He was equally inspired by the people he met as he was by the mountains and the Adriatic coastline – landscapes that informed the atmosphere and light in his works, not unlike Turner, who Spalletti admired.
"Light is very important. Like a colour is born… a painting of mine has an elaboration of nearly 20 days. Every day I find a colour… I work a paste of colours, that is quite thick, that contains pigments and chalk. Fundamentally colour is constructed on the reality of white. It is on white that I add the pigments, and I add powders to dissolve the colour. Now it is quite fun to do. Before I would always mess it up. […]
I did not know what was going to be my colour formula. It was something that I used to invent, that I felt, that I experimented… […]
This is my obsession. […] It is the pleasure to play with the colour powders, to find in what way and where can colour stop."
Ettore Spalletti (Paolo Vagheggi, Contemporanei, Conversazioni d’artista, 2006)
Ettore Spalletti died on the 11th of October 2019 at age 79. The artist left behind an indelible imprint on the collective conscience, in the signature palette of gentle blues, greys and pinks he used to slowly and methodically cover his sculptures and canvases. He will always be revered in Italy and celebrated abroad as the ‘painter of light’.
Autentification cerificate signed by the artist
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