Salvatore MELI Italy, 1929-2011

Salvatore Meli's part in the still-relevant post-War Italian design boom is well-documented. A contemporary of Gio Ponti, Renato Guttuso and Ettore Sottsass among others, he played a pivotal role shaping a view from abroad of a country whose arts flourished and whose designers' influence continues to this day.

 

He was born in 1929 near Ragusa, Sicily.  He played with and learned pottery in his childhood but it was the time spent exchanging ideas and being tutored by Salvatore Fiume and later, Expressionist Renato Guttuso that was to play a significant role in his development.  

 

Meli's first exhibition, in Rome in 1951 was critically acclaimed and in 1955, at the age of only 25, he was labelled the "enfant terrible of Italian ceramic art" by the Los Angeles Times.

 

His work is constructed rather than thrown which allows him to play with scale.  Asymmetric, flowing forms, flat planes, chargers, all executed with dynamism, are the characteristics of his work.