Unique Forms: The Drawing and Sculpture of Umberto Boccioni

14 Jan 2009 – 18 Apr 2009

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

London, United Kingdom


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  • Highbury & Islington

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20 February 2009 marks the centenary of the publication of F.T. Marinetti's Futurist manifesto in the popular Paris newspaper Le Figaro. Although Marinetti himself was a poet, his ideas swiftly attracted artists from other disciplines. Boccioni was perhaps the most significant of the five artists associated with the first wave of Futurist painting. Born in the south of Italy, Boccioni later settled in Milan where he experimented with the languages of Divisionism, Symbolism and Expressionism prior to his association with Marinetti's movement. Equally articulate with verbal and visual imagery, Boccioni went on to become the foremost theorist of Futurist aesthetics, which he expounded with tremendous energy and rigour in his tract Futurist Painting and Sculpture published in 1914, two years prior to his untimely death during a military exercise. The power and energy of Boccioni's thought and work remains exhilarating to this day, and familiarisation with his ideas and imagery makes it clear that the First World War deprived modernism of one of its most talented and promising artists.

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