In 1972, in both his sculptures and his two-dimensional works, Ettore Spalletti began to apply stucco technique as a way of achieving certain “states” of colour and situations of chromatic and spatial “suspension”. It is not by chance that the title of this piece from the late eighties is posa, which may be translated as “pause” or “suspension” but also as “attitude or pose”. Spalletti understands suspension as a search for the intermediate space—through the border, the contour, the contact—between the conscious and the unconscious, the everyday and the artistic, the subjective and the objective.
In Posa the scene is composed of two simple volumes. On the one hand, we find the shape of a grey chamber pot or receptacle and, on the other, the representation of a form with references to a pink house of construction. For Spalletti sculpture and painting are instruments for reflection between sensual epidermises through which the creation of the vertigo between two bodies is projected. “On the surface I find living material. This to my mind is what my work restores,” he himself has said [Germano Celant, “The Dualism of the Banal and the Sublime”, Osmosis, Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1993]. That desire for sensuality and atmosphere has been pointed out by certain critics as his relation with the Italian Renaissance, specifically with Piero della Francesca for his interest in the sensitive geometry of solid volumes and with Fra Angelico for his atmospheric perspectives and in general for the application of the techniques of sfumato, disegno and impasto of colour.
Moreover, Spalletti, whose discourses are powerfully impregnated with the stage, “modifies the role of the so-called ‘secondary elements’ in art; drawing with respect to painting, the frame with respect to the image, and three-dimensional volumes with respect to sculpture. Spalletti insists that now there are no more support elements, but that the whole forms an entirety whose sum is the minimum possible.” [Giacinto di Pietrantonio, “Ettore Spalletti”, Flash Art, (Milan), 1990]. In that respect he appropriates the total atmosphere to build himself a territory which is independent of it.
Spalletti’s work ponders the permanence of things and the fragile nature of existence. We should not forget that the surfaces of his volumes are easily damaged by the slightest touch. He himself has defined this concept: “Who knows how long it will be there?”