Fausto Melotti (1901- 1986)

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Fausto Melotti is one of the most important European sculptors of the second half of the twentieth century, few Americans have heard of him.

Melotti was born in Raveneto, Italy in 1901. Melotti studied Math and Physics at the University of Pisa and then received a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Milan in 1924. In 1928, he received an advanced degree from the Sculpture Academy in Brera where he met two of the most influential figures in his sculptural career: his professor, Adolfo Wildt, and fellow student, Lucio Fontana. These two influential figures in Melotti's artistic career were completely opposite in their outlooks - Wildt was very traditional and somewhat old fashioned in his love for stone carving; where as Fontana attempted to break down the rules of conventional sculpture, creating artworks of air, etc.

Melotti had his first show in 1935 at the Galleria Il Milione in Milan. The show consisted of twenty-one abstract sculptures and bas-reliefs.

With the onset of World War II, Melotti ceased making abstract sculptures, stating that the war and its travesties were too great for him to be able to continue to create new artwork.  

            With the end of the war, Melotti resumed his artistic ventures, and began constructing out of plaster, ceramic stage sets, entitled teatrini. Melotti himself compared these pieces to songs with a sense of narrative.

            Over the course of the subsequent three decades, Melotti continued creating sculptures and drawings illustrating a combination of abstract elements mixed with vaguely figurative aspects that draw upon religion, mythology, architecture, and the environment. The majority of his sculptures illustrate the interaction and relationship between music and space.

            "In Melotti's work the dematerialization of sculpture is indissolubly linked to a determination to analyse all the elements of space, to purify them and use them to bring about a new mathematical or a-mathematical order, linked to it and part of it. With this work of his, Melotti is appealing to the totality of our inner life and doing so via the eye and not, or hardly, via our sense of touch...All the facets of his work are passages, corridors, through which things escape from themselves, as music escapes, in Melotti, when it become sculpture escape to become music." - AM Hammacher, Melotti, Milan 1975, p. 22

 



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