Artists Market Italy

A golden moment for Melotti

Renewed international interest in the work of the Italian sculptor

Melotti's Senza perché, 1974, is for sale at Waddington Custot

This year’s Klee-Melotti exhibition at the Museo d’Arte Lugano, Switzerland, is one of the factors behind renewed international interest in the work of the Italian sculptor and mixed-media artist Fausto Melotti (1901-86). This autumn, the London gallery Waddington Custot is opening an exhibition dedicated to the artist (20 November-20 December), from which around 30 works, including Senza perché, 1974, are being sold in collaboration with the Melotti Estate in Milan (prices range from €40,000 to €200,000).

Last month, at Christie’s 20th-century Italian auction on 18 October, a trademark gold, rhythmic work by Melotti, Tema e variazioni IV, 1970, sold to an absentee bidder for a near-record price of £188,500, against an estimate of £80,000 to £120,000. Meanwhile, at Frieze Masters (16-19 October), the New York dealer Barbara Mathes brought two of the artist’s sculptures. They did not sell at the fair, but she says that she has had “serious interest” in the works. Recognition for the artist is “long overdue”, Mathes says, adding: “I am very happy to see the change in his market.”

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