Fausto Melotti: Ceramics

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22 East 80th Street, NY 10075, New York, USA
Open: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat by appointment


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Fausto Melotti: Ceramics

New York

Fausto Melotti: Ceramics
to Fri 23 Apr 2021
Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat by appointment

Barbara Mathes Gallery presents Fausto Melotti: Ceramics, a selection of Melotti’s remarkable ceramics from the postwar period.

Artworks

Senza titolo, 1974

Plaster, brass and mixed media
19 7/10 x 27 14/25 in; 50 x 70 cm. Framed: 28 x 42 in; 71.1 x 106.7 cm
Signed Melotti lower left

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Tema e Variazioni XI, 1981 (1984)

Brass
25 5/8 x 58 1/4 x 12 1/4 in; 65 x 148 x 31 cm
Inscribed: Melotti

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Coppetta blu, c. 1955

Glazed polychrome ceramic
2 2/5 x 5 1/2 in; 6.1 x 14 cm
Signed to the underside with artist’s cipher

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Coppetta, c. 1956

Glazed polychrome ceramic
2 2/5 x 5 1/2 in; 6.2 x 14 cm
Signed to the underside with artist’s cipher

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Coppetta, c. 1960

Glazed polychrome ceramic
2 1/2 x 5 1/8 in; 6.3 x 13 cm
Signed to the underside with artist’s cipher

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Coppetta, c. 1965

Glazed polychrome ceramic
2 3/8 x 5 1/2 in; 6 x 14 cm
Signed to the underside with artist’s cipher

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Coppetta, c. 1965

Glazed polychrome ceramic
2 3/8 x 5 1/2 in; 6 x 14 cm
Signed to the underside with artist’s cipher

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Vaso, c. 1965

Glazed polychrome ceramic
26 3/4 x 9 1/4 in; 68 x 23.5 cm
Signed to the underside with artist’s cipher

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Coppetta, c. 1965

Glazed polychrome ceramic
2 1/2 x 5 3/4 in; 6.4 x 14.5 cm
Signed to the underside with artist’s cipher

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Senza titolo, c. 1973

Brass relief
25 9/16 x 23 5/8 in; 65 x 60 cm
Unique

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Cartoccio, c.1960

Glazed polychrome ceramic
7 3/8 x 18 1/2 in; 18.7 x 47 cm
Signed to the underside with artist’s cipher

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Barbara Mathes Fausto Melotti 1

Barbara Mathes Fausto Melotti 2

Barbara Mathes Fausto Melotti 3

Fausto Melotti (1901-1986) was a central figure in 20th century Italian art who first rose to prominence in the years prior to the Second World War. His unique artistic style synthesized the technical precision of the Constructivists and the fantastical, biomorphic language of Surrealism. Experimenting with materials, he frequently drew upon his lifelong interests in music, poetry, and architecture.

Although best known for the singular metal sculptures that he described as ‘drawing in space,’ Melotti was equally comfortable working in other media, notably ceramics. He belonged to a generation of Italian artists who viewed ceramics as an art form with ties to ancient Roman and Etruscan culture. Introduced to the form by architect, designer, writer, and ceramics enthusiast, Gio Ponti, Melotti’s most concentrated ceramic production came in the aftermath of the Second World War. Upon discovering that his studio had been destroyed in the bombing of Milan, the artist renewed his practice by renting out a kiln, thus initiating a fifteen-year period in which he only produced ceramics and terracotta sculptures. His work in these years ranged from small decorative objects of uncommon beauty to large, patterned tiles commissioned for architectural interiors.

In his ceramics – such as Vaso (1965) — Melotti demonstrates his sensibilities as both a colorist and a sculptor. Multiple layers of glaze produce a brilliantly polychromatic object, over which color melts and pools in complex patterns. The radiant palettes and bold curvatures of works such as Cartoccio (1960) reveal a side to the artist that is far removed from the filamentous and ethereal sculptures in brass and gold for which he is best known today.

Fausto Melotti was born in Roverto, Italy in 1901. After studying engineering, he dedicated himself to becoming an artist and in 1928 entered the Academia di Belle Arte di Brera in Milan. Melotti was a major force in Postwar European art until his death in 1986. His work has been widely exhibited, including at the 1951 Milan Triennale and five Venice Biennales (1948, 1952, 1966, 1972, 1986). Retrospectives of his work have been held at the Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund (1971), Palazzo della Pilotta, Parma (1976), Palazzo Reale, Milan (1979), and Forte di Belvedere, Florence (1979). He was awarded the Premio Rembrandt award from the Goethe Foundation in 1973 and the Feltrinelli award for sculpture in 1976.

Courtesy of Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York


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