Melotti’s late work in the 1970s and 1980s is characterized by rhythmic geometric forms with an underlying humanist narrative. Melotti moved freely among mediums, incorporating plaster, ceramics, metal and fabric into his work. His delicate sculptures often exploited flexible metals —brass, copper, and bronze. During the 1970s, Melotti began to work on a more monumental and public scale, producing large works in steel and iron.
In ‘La Sibilla (The Sibyl)’ (1981), Melotti attempts to capture the immaterial essence of the Oracle and its prophetess, showing the artist’s profound interest in Greek mythology. In Greek legend and literature, the sibyl is thought to utter the prophecies of a god. Here she is seated on a throne-like structure facing a staircase occupied by an audience of faithful listeners; in the centre the artist depicts a sphere representing the truth. In ancient Greece the sphere is considered a symbol of perfection, completeness and unity as well as harmony and beauty, and denotes the pure, metaphysical nature of the self-conscious Being.
Fausto Melotti’s work is featured in Hauser & Wirth’s presentation of pioneering artists at Art Basel Unlimited from 13 – 16 June 2019.