Giacomo Balla

Born in Turin on 18 July 1871

Giacomo Balla was the senior member of the first wave of Futurist painters and was well established as a teacher - Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini were pupils, as well as a host of later futurists.

His early, pre-Futurist period was influenced by the Italian Divisionists and the Pointilism of Georges Seurat, it was not until 1912 that he joined the Futurist movement.

In 1909 he became interested with the pictorial depiction of light, movement and speed epitomised by works such as The Hand of the Violinist (1912) and Speed of a Motorcycle (1913). Through to 1914 he decomposed movement and light but his compositions moved ever closer to total abstraction

By 1914 Balla was advocating a Futurist lifestyle - he even named his two daughters Propeller and Light - and his energies expanded to include sculpture (for example Boccioni's Fist of 1915) and the applied arts, especially costume and theatre design.

By the end of the twenties he had virtually given up Futurism altogether although he co-signed the Manifesto of Aeropainting in 1929 (with Marinetti, Benedetta, Dottori, Depero, Fillia, Prampolini and others) and exhibited with them in 1931.

Giacomo Balla died in Rome on 1 March 1958.

Select Works from Giacomo Balla