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Fernando Melani

Salvatore Ala

Italian artist Fernando Melani was somewhat of a Modernist anachronism. In 1945, at the age of 38, he embarked on an ambitious program to link abstract art with experimental physics. He pursued the project until his death in 1985, and his efforts yielded thousands of artworks and a substantial body of theoretical writing.

Melani carried out his “research” in his house in Pistoia, converting his living quarters into an artistic laboratory, eliminating all typical domestic props, and taking his meals at a local restaurant. Melani’s output was prodigious and, over the course of forty years, the accumulation of successfully realized “experiences” (as he called the works), also meant to engage the viewer’s sense unfinished pieces, and dead ends covered the tables, bookcases, walls, and floors of his house. Monochrome canvases strung on clotheslines, which the artist humorously dubbed Bucato (

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