Rovereto 1901 - Milan 1986 ITALY

A personality with multiple and complex artistic facets - poet, musician, painter and sculptor – dedicated himself to ceramics between the Thirties and the Sixties. After graduating in Engineering at the Polytechnic of Milan, he attended the Academy Albertina of Turin (1925-27) and Adolfo Wildt’s courses at the Academy of Brera (1928-29), along with his friend Lucio Fontana.
Towards the beginning of the Thirties, Melotti joined the Italian Abstractionist Movement, being one of the signatories of its manifesto. His artistic search continued by way of the creation of some monumental works for public and private buildings, in collaboration with architects like Luigi Figini, Gino Pollini, Marcello Piacentini and Giò Ponti. Thanks to this last, around the middle of the Forties, he accomplished some sculptural models for Richard-Ginori, to be finished in series. Above and beyond his participation in numerous Exhibitions and in various editions of the Triennale of Milan, what was significant – even if it wasn't entirely understood for its innovative values – was the first one-man show at the "II Milione" gallery of Milan (1935), where eighteen sculptures in plaster, bronze, chrome and clay were exhibited. After a journey to Paris, Melotti moved to Rome, where he worked on some sculptures commissioned for the twentieth anniversary of Italian fascism. After the War, settling in Milan, he gave himself over entirely to ceramics, work that he accomplished in his own atelier in via Leopardi. An extraordinary series of work thus came to light – little theatres, masks, necklaces, baubles, scrolls, animal, tiles, cornices – that met with great recognition and came to influence the whole course of Italian ceramics. It amounts to a vast and highly-inspired production in which sculptural aspirations and an anti-decorative spirit find accents in the most refined poetry, thanks, also, to a skilful degree of experimentation that deploys the 'egg shell' technique and enamelling with tints that are often washed out and yet luminous. In brief, an initiatory art, evocative and symbolic, which the clay material helps render both loveable and popular, even with its mysterious lyricism.