Fausto Melotti - The Great Wonderful: 100 Years of Italian Art New York Wednesday, May 13, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Milan

  • Exhibited

    Florence, Galleria La Piramide, Fausto Melotti, May - June, 1975
    Sanremo, Galleria Beniamino, Fausto Melotti, July - August, 1975
    Trento, Castello del Buoncosiglio, Fausto Melotti: Opere 1935-1977, May - July, 1977
    New York, Acquavella Galleries, Fausto Melotti, April 16 - June 13, 2008
    Naples, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Melotti, December 16, 2011 - April 11, 2012

  • Literature

    V. Scheiwiller, Fausto Melotti, exh. cat., Galleria Beniamino, Sanremo 1975, tav. 6 (illustrated)
    B. Passamani, C. Belli, B. Mattedi, Fausto Melotti: Opere 1935-1977, Calliano: Manfrini, 1977, no. 23 (illustrated)
    G. Celant, Melotti: Catalogo Generale, Tomo I, Sculture 1929-1972, Milan: Electa, 1995, no. 1966 16 (illustrated with wrong dimensions)
    Fausto Melotti, exh. cat., Acquavella Galleries, New York, 2008, pp. 40, 102 (illustrated)
    G. Celant, Melotti, exh. cat., Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, 2011, n.p., no. 293 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Fausto Melotti has given a sculptural form to the invisibility and ethereality of poetry. In La Pioggia, rain, one of the largest sculptures by the artist, the physical act of raining is transformed into a religious space where people worship the drops of water forming a skeleton-like volcano. The cloud from where the water is pouring appears as if a halo, or a god-eye, while the puddles forming on the ground look like reflections of that self-same halo above. The sculpture has, in and of itself, become a dance and a celebration of rite that propitiates and welcomes the arrival of the rain. Many artists since Melotti have been similarly inspired by water and the rain – among them Gabriel Orozco with his photos of puddles and Urs Fischer with his acid colored rain drops scattered from the ceiling. Like Alexander Calder, Melotti makes instability the focus of his art. Everything, both in the art and in response to it, is unstable and because of that, all is magic. La Pioggia is magic, transparent, the very essence of simplicity, yet has the strength, the power, and the mystery of the graffiti in the Paleolithic caves. Melotti’s La Pioggia is ancient and contemporary at the same time; it’s about the ritual of creation; it’s about nature. That same physical miracle, according to the artist, is nothing but a screen through which God be seen, or behind which He can hide.


La Pioggia

70 7/8 x 48 3/8 x 23 5/8 in. (180 x 123 x 60 cm)
This work is unique.

$700,000 - 900,000 

Contact Specialist
Brittany Lopez Slater
Head of International Exhibitions
New York
+1 212 940 1299

Carolina Lanfranchi
+39 338 924 1720

The Great Wonderful: 100 Years of Italian Art

New York 13 May 2015 4pm