Giacomo Balla

Biography

Balla was born in Turin in 1871 and moved to Rome in 1895 to study after a short sojourn in Paris. He immediately gets in touch with the artistic and cultural circle of artists such as Giovanni Prini, Duilio Cambellotti, and Giovanni Cena. Balla would soon become an important figure in the artistic scene in Rome. Being the teacher of Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini, he frequently exhibits at the Esposizioni degli Amatori e Cultori di Belle Arti. At the beginning of his career, his style is considered as similar to Divisionism, with a particular interest for the working class seen as a world of the excluded (La giornata dell’operaio, 1904; La pazza, 1905). In 1909, he signs the Futurist Manifest together with Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Furthermore, he begins his research on the decomposition of light and its movement. The first Futurist period ends in 1995 with the cycle dedicated to the Dimostrazioni interventiste. In that same year, he signs the Manifest of the Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe together with Fortunato Depero, and begins to experiment with different materials. He gradually moves away from Futurist themes and returns to figurative themes, with a particular attention to portraits and city landscapes. He dies in Rome in 1958.