Fausto Melotti. Trappolando
1 Dec 2016 — 24 Feb 2017 at Montrasio Arte in Milan, Italy
Some of the approximately thirty selected pieces among sculptures, ceramics and bas reliefs, have never been exhibited before and are all different examples of key passages of the long artistic path of Melotti.
The exhibition will go with a 260 pages catalog (Silvana editoriale), with texts by Sara Fontana, Marco Tonelli, Lo- renzo Fiorucci and Ilaria Despina Bozzi. The title Trappolare derives from a sentence pronounced by Melotti right after the collapse of war events and devastation of his Milanese atelier “I put myself not really to work but ra- ther, to trappolare (literally, set trap). With some clay I have, I'm making little heads, big as fists. But I'm going to organize better”. Melotti defined ceramic as “a mess”, “something amphibious”, perhaps to enhance the chal- lenge to which each time its manufacturer submits, but his numerous works remain today witness of his interest in respect to this medium.
The exhibition itinerary starts with the Thirties-Forties - years of first cooperation with Richard Ginori and first appearance to Milanese triennali – with a delicate clay Mezzo busto femminile of 1942, a figurative sculpture still partly related to twentieth century plastic but whose dreamy nature moves away from those years common monumental rhetoric.
A nucleus of works is witness the artistic creative rebirth of Melotti after second world war, when the entire destruction of his Milanese atelier pushes him to an almost frenetic production of ceramic and clay sculptures, carried on for roughly fifteen years with unexpected success but with no critical echo.
The artist creates a series of very original poetic inventions - vasi sole, vasi luna, vasi pesce, vasi gallo, big feminine figures called Kore – and in parallel improves cooperation with Gio Ponti in some important decorative large-scale interventions. It's a vital and magical period, acknowledged by two spectacular shown specimens of glazed ceramic Vaso Gallo, respectively of 1948 of 1950, and by a prominent group of pieces real- ized around 1955, always in glazed ceramic, witnessing the variety of chromatic and iconographic solutions of the artist from Rovereto in those years: matted blacks of little Giraffa, sophisticated whites of la Kore and two huge Vasi, refined reflexes of Vaso Pavone and Vaso Vescovo.
These are strongly evocative pieces. Originated from a dream, a memory or an idea, they tell with new shapes ancient myths and popular beliefs, love for nature in all its forms and passion for music. Of the very rich poetic of the artist they unveil both the most expressive and col- ored side, sprung from love for an untamable matter, and the more reflexive and minimal, translated in ever- light and rigorous sculpture.
After first critical recognition for abstract works of the Thirties and improvement of graphic activity in the Six- ties, the following decennial is represented by some delicate color plaster bas reliefs, clay or plaster quadrangu- lar tiles, memories of candid slabs forged by Melotti in the early post war period, but now evocating landscapes, figures and musical architectures.