Umberto Boccioni, La città che sale – Forme uniche della continuità nello spazio


Umberto Boccioni Reggio Calabria 1882 – Verona 1916 Futurist avant-garde born in 1909 can be considered the most
important contribution from Italy to the art of the twentieth century. Boccioni plays a leading role within the Movement fully embodying the spirit he manages to make pictorially and
plastically the dynamism and speed representing the new concept of
beauty. The City Rises 1910 1911 Oil on canvas Cm 199,3 by 301 New York, Museum of Modern Art After his education in Rome Boccioni moved to Milan in 1907. Around 1910 he produced “The city rises”. The painting, anticipated by numerous sketches,
was originally called “The work” and was part of a triptych. The painting represents a construction site in the
outskirts of Milan. In the foreground some men attempt to retain the
frightened horses; in the background, from left to right, we see the electric tramway, scaffolding for the factory in
construction and smoking chimneys. The modern metropolis, work and
progress are themes also very appreciated by Futurism. The rushing horses, recurring in Boccioni’s art,
symbolize the vitality of the city in evolution. Being the result of mounting
operated by the mental vision, architectures offer dissonant prospects; The painting shows a search for “a
synthesis of what one remembers and what one sees”. In composition curved lines dominated describing the swirling
of men and horses. On the background, straight lines project the city upwards and outside the canvas. The use of the divisionist technique
accentuates the dynamism and energy that fills the scene; Boccioni blends together pure colors
bright and beautiful with rapid and filamentous brush strokes. Speed creates cones of light
projecting into the atmosphere. Unique Forms of Continuity in
space (1913) Bronze Cm 112 x 40 x 90 Milan, Museo del Novecento. Unique Forms of Continuity in
space dates back to 1913. With this work the artist removes the
celebrating role that the sculpture covered in the previous century,
rejecting the static monumentality. The sculpture represents a powerful
figure without arms which advances in leaps and bounds. The artist
sees in a simultaneous vision the sequence of moments determined
by the advance of man. The deformation of its limbs is due to the fact that Boccioni studies the motion over time; fourth dimension thus becomes
part of the sculpture. The “trails” taking shape in bronze and
accompanying figure, establish in memory the moments and previous steps: in this way, the artist suggests the powerful dynamism of
body, that is constantly changing. A tangle of curved lines
intersecting, defines plans and volumes that
interpenetrate with the surrounding space. The volumes decomposition and overlap, Cubist-derived, creates a large
effect of mobility. The light sliding on bronze highlights the muscles that
seem to modeling the strength of the wind.

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