Skip to main content

Fausto Melotti

December 11, 2008 – January 31, 2009
Download Press Release

Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by the Italian artist Fausto Melotti.  A consistent thread runs through his sculptures, drawings and ceramics in which discrete objects become both infinite and immaterial.  The ceramic Teatrini of the1940s emerged from poetic sketches, which in turn evolved from earlier sculpture.  In 1959 Melotti finally abandoned ceramics and turned to brass and metal wire, giving way to a new formal language. 

A great lover of music, Melotti valued it above all other forms of art, which accounts for the unique rhythm in his work.  Juxtaposing plaster, brass, chains and cloth, Melotti creates a new universe at times solid, yet ephemeral.  The geometric construction of the Teatrini reference Mondrian’s horizontal and vertical structures and blocks of color.  However, for Melotti these spaces house faint figures and objects in theatrical tableaux creating a world where abstract thought and lyric figuration intertwine.  As the artist said: “With the Teatrini I did not abandon the rigorous idea of counterpoint, but rather wanted to create something that was at once figurative while situating it in an abstract and metaphysical milieu.”

Born in Rovereto to a musical family, Fausto Melotti (1901-1986) began studying music, mathematics and physics before enrolling at the prestigious Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan where he befriended fellow artist Lucio Fontana.  His first exhibition was at the Galleria del Milione in Milan in 1935.  The Museum am Ostwall Dortmund held the first retrospective of his work in 1971. He exhibited in both Italy and abroad up until his death.  The1986 Venice Biennale opened with a major exhibition of Melotti’s work, earning him a posthumous Leone d’Oro.