Turin, 1871 – Rome, 1958
Giacomo Balla, born in Turin in 1871, was an Italian painter, sculptor, writer and scenographer.
Being one the forerunners of Divisionism, he was highly productive around the 1910s carrying out studies about dynamismand light. In 1915, this research allowed him to reach a new phase in his work characterized by a more synthetic approach.
In the meantime, he became a leading member of Futurism, signing – together with Marinetti and the other Futurists the manifestos that introduced the theoretical aspects of the movement. In particular, Balla pursued the idea of representing a total art, defined as Futurist art and action, through which creating a fusion of elements to reconstruct the whole universe.
After the death of Boccioni in 1916, he became the advocateof the Futurist movement. In 1918, he created the ‘Manifesto del Colore’, in which he analysed the role of colour in the avant-garde painting.
In the 1930s, Balla became the main artist of the Regime. In 1937, however, he wrote a letter to the newspaper Perseo in which he declared to not get involved in the Futurist activities. From that moment on, he was ignored by the official art circle until his works, and Futurist art in general, were revaluated after the war.
Beyond a pure experimentalism, his work possessed a strong chromatic fantasy, a dynamic rhythm and a non-figurative accuracy. These features enabled Balla to be later considered as one of the creators of the first expressions of Abstract Italian art.
© GIACOMO BALLA, by SIAE 2023
Morandi, Balla, de Chirico and Italian Painting 1920-1950
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Art London. Essay by Flavia Frigeri. N/b and colored illustrations, 175 pages, 24×29 cm, English/Italian, 2020.