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Umberto Boccioni papers, 1898-1986

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Boccioni (Umberto) papers

Biographical/Historical Note

Umberto Boccioni, born in Reggio Calabria in 1882, spent his childhood in Genova, Padova and Catania, and began his artistic career in Rome, where he worked with Giacomo Balla, who was then a Divisionist. In 1902 he went to Paris to study Impressionism and Cubism, traveled to Russia, and spent two years in Padova and Venice. He finally settled in Milan, where he met F.T. Marinetti in 1910 and became a Futurist, authoring, along with Carrà, Russolo, Balla, and Severini, "Manifesto dei pittori futuristi" (1910) and "Manifesto tecnico della pittura futurista" (1910). During the following five years, Boccioni produced what is generally considered Futurism's finest artistic legacy. Where other Futurist artists found a mechanical or formulaic solution to the problem of dynamism, Boccioni sought to portray dynamism as a dimension of consciousness. Thus, in the series "Dinamismi" (1913), or in works such as "Antigrazioso," and "Scomposizione di figure di donne a tavola," the object exists in complex relationship both to its environment and to the viewer's experience of it. He also published a number of theoretical essays about painting and sculpture, collected in the book Pittura scultura futuriste (Dinamismo Plastico) (1914), and traveled to various European cities, organizing Futurist shows and giving lectures. In 1915, he volunteered to serve in the great war and died after falling from his horse during a military drill.




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