While in Rome this week, I did not miss the opportunity to visit The Sky in a Room, the exhibition that the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome has dedicated to Ettore Spalletti (1940-2019) curated by Éric de Chassey, a French art historian and current Director of the National Institute of Art History in Paris.
I have always loved the work of Ettore Spalletti.
In the original synthesis born in the Seventies from the interaction between his colors - blue, pink, gold, gray, white - and his forms - the column, the basin, the parallelepiped - it is impossible not to find the sense of a typically Italian classicism, the art conceived within the architectural space.
"The column is an object that has crossed all the time of art history", the artist used to say when interviewed on the occasion of his solo exhibition in Venice, Palazzo Cini, in 2015.
He then added, talking about concepts such as tradition and iconography: "I'm talking about Piero della Francesca, but I could talk about Morandi, Fontana. Piero della Francesca is an extraordinary figure who is next to us continuously in light and color. So, somehow unnoticed, he is inside us."
Ettore Spalletti has therefore interpreted this classicism with the eyes of contemporaneity.
To quote the words of the curator Éric de Chassey: "Ettore Spalletti's early choice of the monochrome as his privileged means for creating pictures, sculptures, and spaces has proved over decades to be particularly felicitous. Instead of limiting him, it opened unforeseen possibilities which foster experiences of infinity and limitlessness through a concrete concentration on specific materialities".