Quasi-Monochrome: The Paintings of Ettore Spalleti

An installation view of several sculptural objects and monochrome paintingsUntitled (installation veiw)

Ettore Spalleti is an Italian painter who works in a quasi-monochrome style. The artist’s paintings often focus on a single hue, but use gradients and shading to create depth and volume. 

A blue circular painting positioned on a ceilingA casa di...


It’s quite interesting to learn about the process that Spalleti uses to create his paintings. The artist starts by mixing oil, pigment, and gesso, then applying a single thin coat of the mixture to a canvas once a day, every day, for two to three weeks. He then sands the dried surface of the painting which reveals the unique colour left behind by the various mixed pigments and media. 


There’s something monolithic about Spalleti’s works, almost like the large monochromatic paintings of Barnett Newman. Spalleti occasionally incorporates metallic bands, or paints on three-dimensional surfaces, bringing the idea of the monochrome into a contemporary setting.

A painting with reddish pink huesSfumato, rosso, colour impasto on board

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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