artist / participant
Exhibition view Ettore Spalletti, Ombre d'azur, transparence at NMNM-Villa Paloma. Photo: Werner Hannappel, VG-Bildkunst Bonn 2019.
The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco presents a new project by Ettore Spalletti (b. Cappelle sul Tavo, Pescara, 1940), curated by Cristiano Raimondi and specially designed for the premises of the Villa Paloma. 30 works are on display in seven environments on the three floors of the villa.
The spaces conceived and created by the artist show all aspects of his work, though not in chronological order, with significant new works alongside historical ones, both from his studio and from important private collections.
In the early 1970s, Spalletti started working towards a dialogue between classical and contemporary art, creating paintings and sculptures that involved an in-depth study of colour and its interaction with space. In the concept behind the settings, mainly with three-dimensional monochrome works, the pink and blue landscapes of Abruzzo—the region on the Adriatic where the artist has always lived and worked—are sublimated and given an aura of timelessness by the materials he uses.
Spalletti’s art is the outcome of a highly original, slow, and extremely methodical technique, and it has often been referred to as meditative. Over a period lasting weeks, he applies dozens of layers of impasto onto structures made out of wood or marble, with each layer being left to dry and then abraded to bring out the pigments in all their hues and brightness. The result of this meticulous process is a sort of skin that protects the work, while also creating a connection with the visitor, diffusing shades of colour and light.
The artist’s studio is the starting point for the construction of the display, in which, like the conductor of an orchestra, he rearranges the architecture where he plans his work. He does so by creating itineraries of colours and volumes that become projections of his spiritual dimension and of the landscape that he has had around him ever since he was born. By doing so, he offers us an atmosphere of universal spirituality and restraint.
The catalogue, published by Mousse, will include a new conversation between the artist and Hans Ulrich Obrist, critical essays by Cristiano Raimondi and Valérie Da Costa, and re-edited essays by Bruno Corà, Daniela Lancioni, Daniel Soutif, Tommaso Trini and Vincenzo Trione.
With the contribution of the NMNM, a documentary has been made to accompany the exhibition. The video—written and directed by Alessandra Galletta, and produced by the independent production company LAGALLA23 Productions Milano—tells the tale of the artist’s everyday world—methodical and contemplative—of the places where he lives—Pescara, his home in Spoltore, his studio in Cappelle sul Tavo, the abbeys and the mountains, the sea and the sky of Abruzzo—and of his public image at numerous solo exhibitions in the world’s leading galleries and museums.