Ettore Spalletti

Ettore Spalletti (Cappelle sul Tavo, 1940 – Spoltore 2019) was an Italian painter and sculptor of international renown and among the most esteemed artists of the 21st century.

His work is part of the Minimalist Movement, focused on the essential quality of monochrome applied to the wood, marble and metal sculptures, aiming to reconfigure light and color in the environment where it is set. 

He applies pigment to the entire surface of the work and then subtly manipulates it with a light movement, breaking up the monotony of pure color and entering a relationship with the light of the space where the work is set. 

His first solo show was in 1974 at the La Tartaruga gallery in Via Sistina in Rome.

Side note

In 1996, he took part in a public art project, giving a fresh interpretation to the morgue of the Raymond Poincaré hospital in Garches, on the outskirts of Paris (Salle des Départs, 1996): the five rooms are repainted in a pale blue. The items within, in black and white marble, are arranged on slightly convex and non-orthogonal lines in contrast to the complete simplicity of their shapes. The result is a space of pure serenity. He succeeded in the very difficult task of “humanizing” this place.

International exhibitions

  • Documenta in Kassel (1982, 1992)
  • Rome Quadrennial;
  • He won the first prize for painting at the Venice Biennale in 1948 (and he represented Italy in 1982, 1993, 1995 and 1997).

His solo exhibitions include

  • Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1991),
  •  New York, Guggenheim (1993)
  • Antwerp, Museum van Hedendaages Kunst, 1995 
  • Naples, National Museum of Capodimonte, 1999
  • MoMA (2000)
  • Leeds, Henry Moore Foundation, 2005
  • Rome, National Gallery of Modern Art (2010)
  • The ceiling of a room in the posthumous exhibition curated by Éric de Chassey with the Spalletti studio (2021)

The artist’s major retrospective, “Un giorno così bianco, così bianco” (A day so white, so white) was conceived and simultaneously put on in 2014 at the venues of GAM in Turin, MAXXI in Rome and MADRE in Naples. In the same year, the historic site of the Galleria d ‘Arte Maggiore G.A.M. in Bologna dedicated an exhibition to the artist, “Dialogue of Light: Giorgio Morandi & Ettore

Spalletti” (Silvana Editoriale, 2014). The exhibition design was done by Ettore Spalletti himself, creating more of an installation than a mere exhibition.