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* 8.6.1901 Rovereto, † 22.6.1986 Milan

Fausto Melotti was born in Rovereto in Trentino, Italy in 1901. He first studied at the faculty of mathematics at the University of Pisa and finally obtained a degree in electrotechnical engineering at the Politecnico in Milan. At the same time, he took courses in sculpture but dedicated himself to an artistic career only at the age of 27 when he enrolled at the Brera Academy in Milan. There he studied under Adolfo Wildt together with Lucio Fontana, with whom we developed a close friendship.

After graduating, Fausto Melotti joined the “Abstraction-Création” avant-garde movement founded in Paris and was soon one of the first major non-figurative artists in Italy. In the mid 1940s Fausto Melotti discovered ceramics and made this his primary medium for the subsequent decade. In 1951 he even won the Grand Prix of the 9th Triennale in Milan for his technical excellence.

Ceramic abstractions are not uncommon in the extensive work of the sculptor Melotti but belong to a form of expression which stands out from the surreal character of his wider œuvre. It corresponds entirely with Melotti’s love of experimentation, which was not limited to a particular sculptural medium. From the works in plaster of the 1930s/40s, to the ceramics phase of the 1950s, and the wire sculptures of his late period, Fausto Melotti was constantly reinventing sculpture in relation to the surrounding space. The formal diversity of his work, coupled with his technical sophistication brought him numerous prizes within his lifetime, including the Rembrandt prize from the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe foundation in Basel, as well as the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale, which was granted to him posthumously in the year of his death in 1986. Melotti’s fame continued after his death, as attested by the numerous exhibitions in international institutions. His work was exhibited at the Palazzo Fortuny in Venice (1990), the Whanki Museum in Seoul (1995) the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg (2000) amongst others and the renowned galleries such as Hauser & Wirth and the Gladstone Gallery have also shown his work.

Works from our auctions

Works by this artist from our auctions

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Lot 3704* - A201 Prints & Multiples - Thursday 30 June 2022, 02.00 PM


(Rovereto 1901–1986 Milan)
Divagando. 1976.
Multiple. Brass. 37/50. With the incised signature on the plinth lower right: Melotti. Measurements 50 × 46 × 18.5 cm.

CHF 8 000 / 14 000 | (€ 8 250 / 14 430)

Sold for CHF 9 375 (including buyer’s premium)
All information is subject to change.

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Lot 3417 - Z34 PostWar & Contemporary - Saturday 22 June 2013, 04.00 PM


(Rovereto 1901–1986 Mailand)
Ohne Titel. 1980.
Mischtechnik auf Papier.
Verso mit Bleistift signiert: Melotti.
32 x 23,5 cm.

CHF 1 000 / 1 500 | (€ 1 030 / 1 550)

Sold for CHF 2 640

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