Ettore Spalletti: Works on paper, editions and books

Ettore Spalletti

Marian Goodman Projects, London

Works on paper, editions and books

7 April - 11 June 2022

Marian Goodman Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of works on paper, editions and books by Ettore Spalletti (1940-2019) to coincide with the publication of Ettore Spalletti, libri, edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist (Corraini Edizioni, 2022).

The idea to create a ‘book about books’ originated during a conversation between Obrist and Spalletti in late 2018. While artists’ books rarely receive the attention granted to other artworks, Obrist writes that ‘the passion and precision with which Spalletti has worked on his books throughout his trajectory presents a wonderful example of their importance in an artist’s oeuvre’. A ‘meta book’, libri posthumously brings into being the unrealised project that looks back across Spalletti’s career to highlight the significance of the book as an object and as an artistic space.

Press release | Checklist

Ettore Spalletti is an artist who always puts extreme care into the design of his books […] Books are for him, like exhibitions, real places of experience.

Alessandro Rabottini, ‘Time and Thickness. Tactility and Gaze’, in Ettore Spalletti. So white a day (2014)


The tactile wish in my work is very strong. I like the idea of the work expressing the wish to be touched, but I like that it cannot be done. 

The constant desire, that has always accompanied me, is to be able to touch a form and offer it to the sight for contemplation.

Ettore Spalletti

This tactility of the artistic surface equally describes Spalletti’s method for producing the impasto works for which he is widely known: Spalletti would first create a paste, to which he would add colour and, once dry, work the surface with sandpaper, resulting in an inviting powder quality. The three impasto pieces, produced towards the end of Spalletti’s career and exhibited here for the first time, serve as a testimony to the delicacy of colour itself, when in reciprocity with the material in which it is made, and when transformed by the changing light in which it is subsequently observed.

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