(1901 – 1986), Italy

Fausto Melotti Biography

Fausto Melotti (b. 1901, Rovereto, Italy; d. 1986, Milan, Italy) was an Italian painter and sculptor who is known for his slender brass sculptures and small ceramics. Melotti's early education in Florence introduced him to the art of the Renaissance which would have a profound influence throughout his life. In the interwar years, Melotti became a leading member of the group of Milanese abstract artists which included his lifelong friend Lucio Fontana. Inspired by his engineering and music studies, Melotti's abstract sculptures had an immaterial, rhythmic and intellectual effect on its viewers; a mixture of nature, geometry and music delicately expressed in brass or plaster. After witnessing the destruction of the Second World War, Melotti felt it necessary to introduce the human figure into his work. The small ceramic stage sets, or 'teatrini', produced at this time were more narrative and theatrical than his earlier work; their fatalistic melancholy would endure in his creations. Like the city squares of de Chirico's 'metaphysical paintings', Melotti's little theatres urge the viewer to bring to life narrative fragments into a coherent performance. By the late 1960's Melotti's transformation of commonplace materials such as plaster and painted fabric linked him to the Arte Povera generation of artists.

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Melotti was educated in Florence and went on to complete a degree in electronic engineering in Milan. In 1928 Melotti studied sculpture at Brera Academy, Milan, where he met Lucio Fontana. Melotti's first exhibition was held at the Galleria del Milione, Milan, in 1935. In 1951 Melotti was awarded the Grand Prix at the Milan Triennale. Solo exhibitions were held at the Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund (1971), the Marlborough Gallery, Zurich (1973), the Palazzo Reale, Milan (1979) and the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome (1983). After his death in 1986 his work was exhibited worldwide, including the Kodama Gallery, Osaka (1990) and Paolo Baldacci Gallery, New York (1994). Most recently the Museum of Contemporary Art at Grand Hornu, Belgium, organised a major retrospective (2004). In 2013, the exhibition Klee-Melotti was held at the Museo d'Arte Lugano. Shortly after his death in 1986, Melotti was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale.

Fausto Melotti, Da Shakespeare (After Shakespeare) (1977). Brass, painted fabric. 88.9 x 75.6 x 36.8 cm. © Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milano. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich.

Fausto Melotti Featured Artworks

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Teatrino (Little Theater) by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork sculpture
Fausto Melotti Teatrino (Little Theater), c. 1950 Glazed ceramic, painted clay
46 x 30 x 9 cm
Hauser & Wirth Enquire
Da Shakespeare (After Shakespeare) by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork sculpture
Fausto Melotti Da Shakespeare (After Shakespeare), 1977 Brass, painted fabric
88.9 x 75.6 x 36.8 cm
Hauser & Wirth Enquire
Coppetta by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork sculpture
Fausto Melotti Coppetta, c. 1960 Ceramic, polychrome glazed
6 x 14.2 x 14.2 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
Bomboniera by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork sculpture
Fausto Melotti Bomboniera, c. 1960 Ceramic, polychrome glazed
2.9 x 8.1 x 5.6 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
Coppetta by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork sculpture
Fausto Melotti Coppetta, c. 1960 Ceramic, polychrome glazed
7.5 x 17 x 17 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
Campo di violette (Violets’ Field) by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork sculpture
Fausto Melotti Campo di violette (Violets’ Field), 1968 Brass
33.2 x 17.2 x 17.2 cm
Hauser & Wirth Enquire
Disegno nello Spazio by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork sculpture
Fausto Melotti Disegno nello Spazio, 1981 Brass
76 x 59 x 14 cm
Mazzoleni Contact Gallery
Le scale di Giacobbe (Jacob’s Ladder) by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork sculpture
Fausto Melotti Le scale di Giacobbe (Jacob’s Ladder), 1973/1985 Brass
90 x 38 x 17.5 cm
Hauser & Wirth Enquire

Fausto Melotti Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Fausto Melotti Represented By

Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong Hauser & Wirth Gstaad, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Menorca, Monte Carlo, New York, Somerset, Southampton, St. Moritz, Zurich
Mazzoleni contemporary art gallery in Turin, Italy Mazzoleni London, Turin

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