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(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.

Exhibition view: Group Exhibition, Rome – Milan: Space and Colour, Rhythm and Matter, Mazzoleni, London (1 October–28 November 2020). Courtesy: Mazzoleni, London-Torino. Photo: Todd-White Art Photography.

Fausto Melotti Featured Artworks

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Evangelista / Evangelist by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork
Fausto MelottiEvangelista / Evangelist, 1979brass, copper and plexiglass
62 x 26 x 12 cm
Waddington Custot Contact Gallery
Contrappunto IV by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork
Fausto MelottiContrappunto IV, 1970 (1971)Stainless steel
100 x 100 x 28 cm
Mazzoleni Contact Gallery
Untitled by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork
Fausto MelottiUntitled, c. 1976Brass
145 x 47 x 20 cm
Mazzoleni Contact Gallery
Le scale di Giacobbe (Jacob’s Ladder) by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork
Fausto MelottiLe scale di Giacobbe (Jacob’s Ladder), 1973/1985Brass
90 x 38 x 17.5 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Rondò delle idee galanti by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork
Fausto MelottiRondò delle idee galanti, 1981Brass and fabric (painted)
51 x 40 x 40 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
Alberello (Little Tree) by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork
Fausto MelottiAlberello (Little Tree), 1965Brass
47.5 x 15.5 x 11 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Giraffa (Giraffe) by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork
Fausto MelottiGiraffa (Giraffe), c. 1955Glazed polychrome ceramics
47 x 26 x 13.5 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery

Fausto Melotti Current & Recent Exhibitions

View All (5)
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Rome – Milan: Space and Colour, Rhythm and Matter at Mazzoleni, London
Closing Soon
1 October–28 November 2020 Group Exhibition Rome – Milan: Space and Colour, Rhythm and Matter MazzoleniLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Equilibrium. An idea for Italian sculpture at Mazzoleni, London
Closed
8 February–5 April 2019 Group Exhibition Equilibrium. An idea for Italian sculpture MazzoleniLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Fausto Melotti, The Deserted City at Hauser & Wirth, 22nd Street, New York
Closed
13 September–27 October 2018 Fausto Melotti The Deserted City Hauser & Wirth22nd Street, New York

Fausto Melotti Represented By

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

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