Since the late 1960s, Ettore Spalletti developped an unclassifiable body of work that straddles painting and sculpture in a continuation of modern abstraction and Italian Renaissance painting.
After studying scenography at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, he set off on a unique and solitary course to explore the expressive, poetic, meditative, and metaphysical potential of colors through geometric volumes inspired by a minimalist vocabulary. These simple forms—square, rectangle, circle, cylinder— are drawn then transferred to a material—wood, plaster, canvas, or stone—and coated in pure colors using the impasto technique. Following a slow and rigorous process, Spalletti applies a mixture of oil, glue, plaster, and pigment in successive layers, which he delicately sands and roughens with sandpaper. By softening the contours of the support, rendering them blurry and imprecise, he exalts color—powdery and dense—and its infinite variations. Its hazy effects are similar to sfumato, a traditional pictorial technique used by Italian fresco artists such as Fra Angelico and Piero della Francesca.