All that glitters – FONTANA / MELOTTI exhibition in London

Gold and geometry. Two things that have dominated interiors trends for the last 10 years – when previously gold had been considered far too gauche to be chic. Both aspects of maths and material also populate current exhibition, FONTANA / MELOTTI: Angelic Spaces and Infinite Geometries at London’s Mazzoleni gallery. It was a highlight of last month’s Frieze fair despite displaying work made at least 50 years ago. The show presents parallels between the work of artists and friends Lucio Fontana (1899–1968) and Fausto Melotti (1901–86) who met as students of the sculptor Adolfo Wildt. Each explored ideas of space and geometry, often working in warm metals to bring their ideas to life.

Lucio Fontana “cuts” series involve slashed, ripped or punctured canvases, at their most striking in copper and aluminium. Faust Melotti, using similar metals, created large sculptures that incorporate geometric brass shapes arranged harmoniously on poles and planes. Bringing to mind abstract 3D sheet music, these surely hark back to the artist’s original studies in engineering and music.


Fausto Melotti (1901 – 1986), Tre Tempi, 1971, Courtesy Mazzoleni


Lucio Fontana (1899 – 1968), Concetto Spaziale, 1962, Courtesy Mazzoleni


Tema e Variazioni IX (1980–86), Fausto Melotti. Courtesy Mazzoleni; © Fondazione Fausto Melotti and Hauser & Wirth


Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale

In this exhibition of over 30 paintings and sculptures, you can join the dots between the two artists’ works but also marvel at how their invigorating ideas overlap with the current landscape in visual arts.

FONTANA / MELOTTI: Angelic Spaces and Infinite Geometries is on at London’s Mazzoleni gallery until 18 November.

Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

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