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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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Fausto Melotti

(1901 - 1986), Italy

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.

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.

Featured Artworks

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Rondò delle idee galanti by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork Fausto MelottiRondò delle idee galanti, 1981 Brass and fabric (painted)
51 x 40 x 40 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art
Alberello (Little Tree) by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork Fausto MelottiAlberello (Little Tree), 1965 Brass
47.5 x 15.5 x 11 cm
Hauser & Wirth
Giraffa (Giraffe) by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork Fausto MelottiGiraffa (Giraffe), c. 1955 Glazed polychrome ceramics
47 x 26 x 13.5 cm
Hauser & Wirth
Scultura n. 14 (Sculpture nr. 14) by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork Fausto MelottiScultura n. 14 (Sculpture nr. 14), 1935 Stainless steel
100 x 35 x 28 cm
Hauser & Wirth
La sposa di Arlecchino (Harlequin’s Wife) by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork Fausto MelottiLa sposa di Arlecchino (Harlequin’s Wife), 1979 Brass, plaster, fabric, painted paper
63 x 153 x 55 cm
Hauser & Wirth
Sogno / Dream by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork Fausto MelottiSogno / Dream, 1982 Plaster, mixed media, brass rope and terracotta
42 x 59 cm
Waddington Custot
Evangelista / Evangelist by Fausto Melotti contemporary artwork Fausto MelottiEvangelista / Evangelist, 1979 Brass, copper and plexiglass
62 x 26 x 12 cm
Waddington Custot

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Fausto Melotti, The Deserted City at Hauser & Wirth, New York
13 September–27 October 2018 Fausto Melotti The Deserted City Hauser & Wirth, 22nd Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Invisible Cities: Architecture of Line at Waddington Custot, London
7 March–4 May 2018 Group Exhibition Invisible Cities: Architecture of Line Waddington Custot, London

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