The Italian artist Ettore Spalletti (born in 1940 in Cappelle sul Tavo, where he still lives today) develops his work out of a very specific relationship to the tradition of art. He reactivates the great history of Italian art in its synthetic relation to modernist abstraction linking it to the present. In Spalletti's works, echoes of the colouristic tradition of Giotto and Piero della Francesca merge with Brancusi's abstract-ideal concepts of form to a subtle dualism of form and material, colour and light.

Spalletti also applies the clear, well-balanced unity of his abstract, geometrizing formal structures to functional forms such as vases and bowls, which suggest an unapproachableness, however, freeing them from actual functionality. In this sense, the fountains, too, which he realised in 1986 in Sonsbeek and 1987 in Münster in public space, possess architectural functionality while at the same time creating an imaginary ambience, in which the architecture and the surrounding landscape become one. Spalletti takes the delicate, monochrome colours of his panels and sculptures from viewing and experiencing the landscape whose appearance is determined by the changing daylight. "The best moment to look at it is early in the morning", says Spalletti in regard to both the landscape surrounding the place he lives and his works. The colourfulness vitalising the surfaces and setting them in motion lends the physical presence of his works a weightlessness eluding haptic tangibility.

"Under the unique hands of this artist ... each work comes alive in the wetness of the melted colours, in the fine working which condenses it and makes it vibrate, dematerialises it, as it were, and turns it into a pure source of light."
(Bruno Cora in the catalogue)

Photo: Katrin Schilling