Room, Purple Red
Original title: Stanza, rosso porpora
Coloured stucco on wood
Dimensions: Diptych: 200 x 570 cm
Reference: ACF0079
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Spalletti's work was once defined as the "epidermic manifestation of an art whose material interiorness tends towards a profound sensuality." In most of his sculptures, and particularly in his pictorial works, colour is the communication and expression interface with the surrounding atmosphere and the spectator. The colours he uses are really metaphors for human presence itself, for the permeability of the human body. The grey, the white and the pink are channels for the corporeal, whilst the celestial blues suggest the metaphysical, the colour of the sky. His pictorial works could well be defined as installations. They are arranged in the room as free fragments. Their attraction and reflection have a dizzy quality due to the diaphanous, unstable reverberation of the colour. The colour does not exist univocally in the piece; it tends to spread through the exhibition rooms, which are often loaded with powerful historical components, so the artist is obliged to interact with the atmospheric patinas that time has left behind. Spalletti's pictorial works have been associated with those of the Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko, since they are classically abstract paintings, though with metaphysical references. Rothko said: "A painting is not the image of an experience, it is an experience", which is quite in tune with Spalletti's own statements. Spalletti seemed to be thinking of other artists, such as Brancusi, when he said: "I am talking about a sculpture that has a life of its own, not an object that simply imitates or reproduces life forms." Nevertheless, Spalletti points to certain ways out of an idea of art which is solely subjected to its own form, as might be the case in Rothko's works. A reading of the autonomy of the art object must never lose sight of the implications which the very history of those forms impregnates into interpretations of the present. A conception that has been behind a good deal of Italian thinking about painting and sculpture since the mid sixties, especially in the output of the Povera artists. Likewise, artists who are closer in time, such as Piero Manzoni and his "achromes" of the late fifties, are conscious precedents that Spalletti seems to have in mind in his own search for a space between the quasi-religious and the corporeal, and in his investigation of materials that achieve a new presence through the artist, as in the work Vaso (1981), in which he waters a volume as if it were capable of absorbing the external.

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