Giacomo Balla (18 July 1871 – 1 March 1958) was an Italian painter, art teacher and poet best known as a key proponent of Futurism. In his painting he depicted light, movement and speed.
Biography [ ]
Giacomo Balla was born in
Turin, in the Piedmont region of Italy. He was the son of a photographer and as a child studied music.
At age nine, after the death of his father, he gave up music and began working in a
lithograph print shop. By age 20, his interest in visual art had developed to such a level that he decided to study painting at local academies, and several of his early works were shown at exhibitions. Following academic studies at the University of Turin, Balla moved to Rome in 1895, where he met and later married Elisa Marcucci. For several years he worked in Rome as an illustrator, caricaturist and portrait painter. In 1899, his work was exhibited at the Venice Biennale, and in the ensuing years his art was shown at major exhibitions in Rome and Venice, as well as in Munich, Berlin and Düsseldorf, at the Salon d'Automne in Paris, and at galleries in Rotterdam.
Around 1902, he taught
Divisionist techniques to Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini. Influenced by  Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Giacomo Balla adopted the Futurism style, creating a pictorial depiction of light, movement and speed. He was a signatory of the Futurist Manifesto in 1910. Typical for his new style of painting is (1912) and his 1914 work Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash (Velocità astratta + rumore). In 1914, he began to design Futurist furniture, as well as so-called Futurist "antineutral" clothing. Abstract Speed + Sound Balla also began working as a sculptor, creating, in 1915, the well-known work titled  Boccioni's Fist, based on 'lines of force' (Linee di forza del pugno di Boccioni).
World War I, Balla's studio became a meeting place for young artists.
In 1935, he was made a member of Rome's Accademia di San Luca.
In 1955, Balla participated in the
documenta 1 in Kassel.
He died on 1 March 1958.
Notable works [ ]
Balla's 1909 painting
typifies his exploration of light, atmosphere, and motion. The Street Light
Balla's most famous works, such as his 1912
where efforts to express movement – and thus the passage of time – through the medium of painting. One of Balla's main inspirations was the Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash chronophotography of Étienne-Jules Marey.  
depicts the frenetic motion of a musician playing, and draws on inspiration from Cubism and the photographic experiments of Marey and The Hand of the Violinist Eadweard Muybridge.
In his abstract 1912–1914 series
, Balla attempts to separate the experience of light from the perception of objects as such. Iridescent Interpenetration
 (1913–14) is a study of speed symbolised by the automobile. Originally, it may have been part of a Abstract Speed + Sound triptych.
Balla's 1914 series
depicts the November 17, 1914 transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun. Balla created at least a dozen versions and studies of this work.
Mercury Passing Before the Sun
Legacy [ ]
In 1987, some of his artworks were exhibited at
, an exhibition of documenta 8 modern art and contemporary art which takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany.
See also [ ]
References [ ]
...], [contributors Rachel Barnes (2001). The 20th-Century art book (Reprinted. ed.). London: Phaidon Press. ISBN 0714835420.
Coen, Ester (1989). . New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 272. Umberto Boccioni ISBN 0870995227.
Il vestito antineutrale : manifesto futurista, Direzione del Movimento futurista, 1914
Maurizio Fagiolo dell'Arco, , Rizzoli, 1988, Balla, the futurist ISBN 0847809196
"Giacomo Balla (1871-1958)". Encyclopedia of Visual Artists . Retrieved . 19 July 2016
"Giacomo Balla". Encyclopædia Britannica . Retrieved . 20 July 2016
Lubbock, Tom (September 3, 2009). "Great Works: Dynamism of A Dog on a Leash (1912) Giacomo Balla". The Independent . Retrieved . 20 July 2016
^ Marta Braun: Giacomo Balla, Anton Giulio Bragaglia, and Etienne-Jules Marey. In: Vivien Greene (ed.): Italian Futurism 1909 - 1944. Reconstructing the Universe, Guggenheim Museum 2014, p.95-101 Braun states (p.96): "For Balla, perhaps the most photo-literate of the Futurist painters, both Marey's scientific analyses and Bragaglia's blurred trajectories presented an opportunity to move beyond his earlier, more realistic works."
Bertrand, Sandra (July 24, 2014). "Invasion of the Italian Futurists". Highbrow Magazine . Retrieved . 1 November 2016
Greenwald, Xico (April 22, 2014). "Back to the Futurism". New York Sun . Retrieved . 1 November 2016
Poggi, Christine (2009). "Photogenic Abstraction: Giacomo Balla's Iridescent Interpenetrations". . Princeton University Press. pp. 109–149. Inventing Futurism: The Art and Politics of Artificial Optimism ISBN 9780691133706.
"Giacomo Balla: Abstract Speed + Sound (Velocità astratta + rumore)". Peggy Guggenheim Collection . Retrieved . 20 July 2016
Further reading [ ]
Maurizio Fagiolo Dell'Arco,
Balla: The Futurist (1988) Vivien Greene (ed.): Italian Futurism 1909 - 1944. Reconstructing the Universe, Guggenheim Museum 2014,
Giovanni Lista, Balla, catalogue général de l’œuvre, vol. I, Edizioni della Galleria Fonte d’Abisso, Modène, 1982 ; vol. II, L’Age d’Homme, Lausanne, 1984 Giovanni Lista,
Le Futurisme : création et avant-garde, Éditions L’Amateur, Paris, 2001 Giovanni Lista,
Balla, la modernità futurista, Edizioni Skira, Milan, 2008 Giovanni Lista,
Giacomo Balla: futurismo e neofuturismo, Mudima, Milano, 2009. Giacomo Balla, Scritti futuristi, raccolti e curati da Giovanni Lista, Abscondita, Milan, 2010.
External links [ ]