at the home of Beatrice Spalletti, granddaughter of the great artist

«Ettore has always been a very close uncle. When I was a child I slept with my grandparents on Saturdays. Every Sunday morning, he would come and pick me up. Together we went to his studio. I watched him, with the curiosity of a little chemist, as he prepared the dough. Together we scraped his works until we got a powder. When he took me home I was a blue cloud, sometimes pink “.

Hector is Ettore Spalletti, one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century, the solitary ‘magician’ of pigments, powders and golds, crossed by the white of the plaster, with which he created paintings, drawings, sculptures of only light and atmospheric color. Benedetta, gallery owner, is the niece, she lives in Pescara, where she inaugurated 20 years ago Vistamare, his gallery of ten magnificent rooms in an 18th century palace, a place of meeting and dialogue with international artists and collectors, which was followed in 2018 Vistamarestudio, new exhibition space inaugurated in Milan with Lodovica Busiri Vici.

“I grew up in the art world. But I got there by chance when I was a gallery owner, “she says today. «For my parents, art has always been a common passion. My Victorian father was very close to Ettore. He was a lawyer who never dated lawyers, always and only with artists. After high school, I too had my moment of rebellion. I studied cinema in Rome. But then there was my mom’s antique shop. And in 2001, at the age of 25, I decided that I would inaugurate an exhibition curated by Giacinto Di Pietrantonio there: Italy room».

Pescara for Benedetta is a point of departure and return. In this mobile cartography of contemporary living there is a thin stretch of coast, where the blue of the lower Adriatic welcomes the river that cuts the city in two, leaving behind the profile of the mountains: an off-track, a landscape of the soul. «The blue in my works is always different, like the air around us», confided Ettore Spalletti. “Our sky remains blue for days. To get in, you have to pierce it a bit. Getting inside: it’s a bit like the history of my surfaces ».

In Pescara Benedetta lives (perhaps by chance, who knows?) In a house near the sea. A house that collects part of the family collection, part of its art history. «The first exhibition that excited me? A Grammatical Remark, by Joseph Kosuth. It was 2005. I still remember when I left for Rome and joined him in his studio on the Tiber Island, with little money in my pocket, completely in love with his work. I put 4,800 euros on the table, a loan from my father. From that conversation an exhibition was born that helped to turn the gallery around. Shortly thereafter, a work by Kosuth from the same series, which he resumed Fire by Gabriele D’Annunzio, would have appeared along the walls of the auditorium of Villa Serena in Città Sant’Angelo, where the pauses of the text, commas, periods, apostrophes shine with neon light ».

Benedetta took care of this house with Ettore and his wife Patrizia Leonelli. “We have been discussing for whole days about the height of the headboard that he designed himself: ‘It must be high, high enough to fall into the blue of the work that you will hang on top’, he repeated. He is in this house: in a small pencil portrait, in the columns of the room and in many other works. There is that blue fountain that tells the story of the family collection. There are the salient encounters in my story. There are Pescara, my daughters, the slow time of a city made up of walks along the beach, lunches by the sea with the artists. Abruzzo for Ettore has always remained in his works, in his thoughts, in the colors of his works. This is why he never wanted to move. For me it is the same”.

“I live and work willingly in the size of a small village”, confided Ettore Spalletti, constantly shuttling between his home in Spoltore and his studio in Cappelle sul Tavo. “As long as my father was alive, I was simply ‘Spalletti’s son’ there. Today they call me Ettore, but nobody knows that I am a painter. And this is beautiful for me. I can feel transparent “.

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