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Giacomo Balla, Colpo di fucile domenicale
Material and technique
Oil on canvas
66 x 80 cm
Augusta Monferini
Signed “Balla futurista” in the lower right corner, this is a typical abstract composition dating to the period when the artist had abandoned even the slightest figurative reference, leaving his imagination free to draw a series of curving arabesques, criss-crossing over the canvas to create chords of blues, yellows and greys alongside contrasts between blacks and reds, with startling white “voids”. The extraordinary animation of the forms, like wind-blown flags – in fact, they seem to hark back to such earlier works as Balla’s 1915 Bandiere all’altare della Patria – makes this painting, two years after the death of Umberto Boccioni, the living, incisive expression of the Futurist idea of dynamism. Here, dynamism is no longer represented, as in Balla’s earlier Futurist works, by successive repetitions of forms in movement but borrows instead on a universal idea of movement itself (recall Heraclitus’s doctrine of flux in the “Manifesto of the Futurist Painters” in 1910), as probed into by Boccioni and also Severini. In developing this theme, Balla abolishes figures outright, creating a vision that partakes by rights in the earliest international school of abstract painting.
Colpo di fucile domenicale
Related Themes