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 1940s to 1980s. As Demircan says, ‘the artist worked consistently until his passing in 1986, yet 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.’
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, and will be further complemented by a series of drawings and two-dimensional works in mixed media.
Fausto Melotti is considered a visionary in 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.