Ettore Spalletti


  • Ettore Spalletti (°1940, Italië)
  • impasto and gold leaf on board
  • 150 x 150cm

Executed in 1996, Grigio, oro is a sublime example of the late Italian artist Ettore Spalletti’s atmospheric, meditative canvases, meticulously rendered in delicate, powdery grey-tone and delineated by a subtle glimmer of gold leaf. Born in 1940 in Capelle sul Tavo in the Italian province of Pescara, where he lived and worked throughout his life, Spalletti was inspired by the soft, chalky surfaces of his country’s Renaissance frescoes as well as the light and hues of the surrounding Adriatic coastline. His works are deeply affected by their surroundings, composed of many painstaking layers of pigment, their surfaces subject to the ever-changing light around them:

‘I prepare a colour mixture and every day I lay a thin layer, for 15 to 20 days, until I get the desired thickness. The times and rhythms are driven by the result I want to achieve in the end. During this process, the final colour cannot be seen. Only at the end, when the pigments break because of the abrasion and are dispersed on the surface, is the final hue revealed.’

Distancing himself from the Arte Povera movement that was prevalent at the start of his career, Spalletti aligned more closely with the work of the American Minimalists in his practice, creating a body of work consisting of clean, refined compositions that, with their immersive colour and diffusive light, transform the spaces they inhabit.

Ettore Spalletti has been the subject of several major international exhibitions throughout his career, most recently at the Galleria Nazionale d'arte moderna e contemporanea in Rome in 2021, as well as notably the subject of three-part retrospective across Italy in 2014, and has participated in the Venice Biennale.