Review of Ettore Spalletti And Sol Lewitt At Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia

In the small northern industrial town of Brescia one of Europe’s most prominent gallery owners, Massimo Minini, is situated. The current show at Galleria Massimo Minini is a double solo show with Italian sculptor and painter Ettore Spalletti and conceptual artist Sol Lewitt. The show sees a symposium built both between the artists and the curator.

Upon entering the gallery a long narrow corridor channels the viewer. The crisp white of the walls seems to have been plunged into perpetual darkness as three spot lights break through illuminating floor based sculptures by both Lewitt and Spalletti. A textured work by Lewitt resides upon the wall at the far end of the corridor. The first spot light, to the immediate right of the viewer’s entrance, sees Lewitt’s floor sculpture: coated in a black gloss paint, standing with a mysterious demeanour. Towards the middle of the corridor on the left hand wall a second spot light traps a baby blue vase and a taller half vase produced by Spalletti. Here the light reflects the shadows of the sculpture on to the wall and floor. These shadows overlap and dissect one another as if playing in a perpetual dance on the grey floor. The final spot light caught between the asymmetrical dialogue of Lewitt’s and Spalletti’s works cast upon the far wall spilling down on to the floor. Hung in what seems like an arduous state of suspension is a textured geometric pattern on the wall. The image reflects on to the floor as the composition haunts and distorts one’s sense of perception and depth. This, along with the other sculptures in the room, installs a supreme vertigo, unbalancing the viewer.

Once through this corridor the gallery opens up in to three larger areas. Here the use of light is more plentiful, allowing the works to be circumnavigated without too much detachment. The production of reflections, particularly from the floor in these rooms, is powerful in focusing the viewer to the relationship between both artist’s works and the architecture of the gallery. A fantastic example of this is a coupling of Spalletti’s square panels in the middle room. The panels are mixture of baby blue smudged with white. On the left panel the top right corner has been sliced at an angle – this immediately draws one’s attention, and thus guides one’s perceptions to that area of the room. The works’ position near the doorway seems like a perpendicular extension of Spalletti’s panels yet tied together so passionately by only the viewer’s gaze. Through this minimal interaction a perfect marriage is formed with such minimal intervention and interaction that even the viewer’s presence seems to taint this inextricable bond.

William Davie

Ettore Spalletti and Sol Lewitt, 2 February until 6 April, Galleria Massimo Minini, Via Apollonio, 68, 25128 Brescia, Italy.

Image: Ettore Spalletti and Sol Lewitt, Installation view. Courtesy Galleria Massimo Minini.