Fausto Melotti. Theatre

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Open: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm

23 Savile Row, W1S 2ET, London, UK
Open: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm


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Fausto Melotti. Theatre

London

Fausto Melotti. Theatre
to Wed 20 Apr 2022
Mon-Sat 10am-6pm
Artist: Fausto Melotti

To visit the exhibition, book a timed reservation here.

A selection of sculptures, ceramic pieces and works on paper by Italian sculptor, painter and poet Fausto Melotti are displayed for the first time at Hauser & Wirth in London. Curated by writer and curator Saim Demircan, the exhibition places an emphasis on the theatrical within Melotti’s practice and includes works spanning four decades from the 1930s until his passing in 1986.

Artworks

Da Shakespeare (After Shakespeare), 1977

Brass, painted fabric
88.9 x 75.6 x 36.8 cm / 35 x 29 3/4 x 14 1/2 in
© Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milano Courtesy Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milan and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Timothy Doyon

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L'ombra dell'anima (The Shadow of the Soul), 1984

Painted plaster, painted refractory, brass
25.4 x 59.4 x 41.9 cm / 10 x 23 3/8 x 16 1/2 in
© Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milano Courtesy Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milan and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich

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Buona notte, bambini (Good Night, Children), 1984

Painted terracotta, glazed ceramics, painted fabric and brass
36.5 x 32.1 x 8.9 cm / 14 3/8 x 12 5/8 x 3 1/2 in
© Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milano Courtesy Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milan and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Timothy Doyon

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Teatrino (Little Theater), c. 1950

Glazed ceramic, painted clay
46 x 30 x 9 cm / 18 1/8 x 11 3/4 x 3 1/2 in
© Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milano Courtesy Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milan and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Alex Delfanne

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Le mani (The Hands), 1949

Painted terracotta, brass
35.2 x 30.5 x 9.8 cm / 13 7/8 x 12 x 3 7/8 in
© Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milano Courtesy Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milan and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich

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Senza titolo (No title), 1955

Tempera, burn marks and pastel colour on cardboard
50 x 35 cm / 19 5/8 x 13 3/4 in
© Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milano Courtesy Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milan and Hauser & Wirth

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In palude (In the Swamp), 1984

Brass, painted wood, painted fabric
41 x 42 x 26 cm / 16 1/8 x 16 1/2 x 10 1/4 in
© Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milano Courtesy Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milan and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich

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Meditazione domestica (Domestic Meditation), 1959

Painted terracotta, brass and glazed ceramic
45.7 x 41.3 x 15.9 cm / 18 x 16 1/4 x 6 1/4 in
© Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milano Courtesy Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milan and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Todd White Art Photography

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Senza titolo (No title), 1965

Mixed media on paper
49.8 x 35.2 cm / 19 5/8 x 13 7/8 in
© Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milano Courtesy Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milan and Hauser & Wirth

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Teatrino (Little Theater), ca. 1945

Polychrome wax crayon on cardboard
35 x 25.5 cm / 13 3/4 x 10 in
© Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milano Courtesy Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milan and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Daniele de Lonti, Milano

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Hauser Wirth Savile Row Fausto Melotti 1

Hauser Wirth Savile Row Fausto Melotti 2

Hauser Wirth Savile Row Fausto Melotti 3

Hauser Wirth Savile Row Fausto Melotti 4

Hauser Wirth Savile Row Fausto Melotti 5

Hauser Wirth Savile Row Fausto Melotti 6

Hauser Wirth Savile Row Fausto Melotti 7

Hauser Wirth Savile Row Fausto Melotti 8

As Demircan says, ‘it wasn’t until the early 1980s that he designed set pieces for the actual stage. This exhibition looks back throughout Melotti’s lifetime to consider how theatre – conceptually as much as a dramatic art – informed the artist’s own creativity.’

Fausto Melotti is considered a pioneer of Italian art and is acknowledged for his unique contribution to the development of mid-century European Modernism. Coming of age in prewar Milan and living through the horrors of the Second World War, Melotti metabolized wartime devastation in his work by returning to Renaissance principles of harmony, order, geometry, and musical structure, which he integrated into a highly personal yet universally accessible artistic language that expresses the full range of emotional experiences in modern human existence.

Considering the South Gallery as a stage, a selection of Melotti’s teatrini (little theatres) provide a backdrop for sculptural works that allude to the artist’s sensibility for dramaturgy, storytelling and allegory.

The exhibition is designed in collaboration with artist Aaron Angell who has developed custom made pedestals for Melotti’s sculptural works, and a coved wall in which to display the teatrini. The show will be further complemented by a series of drawings and two-dimensional works in mixed media relating to the theatrical which provide further insight on Melotti’s process, including preparatory drawings for the teatrini series.

About the curator

Saim Demircan is a curator and writer based in New York and Turin. Recently, he has curated exhibitions at 80WSE, NYC; Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, and Fridericianum, Kassel. He was the 2017 recipient of the Goethe-Institut New York’s curatorial residency program, Ludlow 38 in NYC. Between 2012 and 2015 he was a curator at Kunstverein München in Munich. Previously, he curated a two-year program of offsite projects, as well as an exhibition of works by German artist Kai Althoff at Focal Point Gallery in Southend-on-Sea. Demircan has published on numerous artistic practices; his writing regularly appears in periodicals such as Art Monthly, frieze and Texte Zur Kunst.

© Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milano. Courtesy Fondazione Fausto Melotti, Milan and Hauser & Wirth


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