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Biography of Umberto Boccioni

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Dynamic-art October 19, 1882
August 17, 1916

Who is Umberto Boccioni?


Umberto Boccioni, futurist painter, sculptor and inventor of the plastic dynamism was theoretician and leading exponent of the Futurist movement, as well as major exponent of southern Italian Futurist art. Born in Reggio Calabria on October 19, 1882 by Raffaele Boccioni and Cecilia Forlani, romagnoli in Calabria had parents. He spent his childhood and adolescence in different cities because of her father's job, being a civil servant, is forced to regular shifts.

The family moved to Genoa in 1888 in Padua and later in 1897 in Catania, where he obtained a Diploma in a technical school and begins to cooperate with some local newspapers. In 1899 Umberto Boccioni moved to Rome where he attended the Scuola Libera del Nudo and works at the studio of a cartoonist. In this period the painter realist style, Gino Severini and knows he attended the studio of Giacomo Balla which is considered a very important teacher, and Umberto serves to deepen the divisionist techniques research: both will become disciples of Bale.

From 1903 to 1906 Umberto Boccioni participates in the annual exhibitions of the society Amatori and Cultori, but in 1905 in controversy with the conservatism of official juries, organizes Severini, in the foyer of the Teatro Costanzi, the "exhibition of the rejected".

To escape the Italian provincial atmosphere in the spring of 1906, Boccioni went to Paris, where he remained fascinated by the modernity of the metropolis. From Paris, after some months, makes a trip to Russia before returning to Italy and settling in Padua to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, where he graduated.

Get to know the new trends of art, derived from the evolution of Impressionism and symbolism, Boccioni takes another trip stopping in Munich, meeting the movement "Sturm und drang" German and notes the influence of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood in England. Upon returning, he painted while remaining actively frustrated because they feel the limits of Italian culture that believes that it is still essentially "provincial culture". Meanwhile faces his first experiences in the field of engraving.

The early twentieth-century Italy has an artistic life still tied to old traditions, but Milan has become a dynamic city, and this is where you determine to return Bottles from his last trip to Europe to experiment with various techniques, especially under the influence of pointillism and symbolism. In the fall of 1907 he moved then in Milan, the city that at that time more than others is on the rise and responds to its aspirations. Become a friend of Romulus and begins to attend Roman Gaetano Previati, which suffers some influence in his painting that seems to turn to symbolism. Becomes also member of permanent.

From January 1907 to August 1908, Umberto Boccioni keeps a detailed diary in which he notes the stylistic experiments, doubts and ambitions that shake the artist who only goes between the pointillism, symbolism, to futurism, painting portraits, paintings in symbolic character and some view of the city.

After meeting Marinetti, Boccioni approaches the avant-garde movement in 1910 writes with Carlo Carrà, and Luigi Russolo, the "Manifesto dei pittori futuristi" and the "technical Manifesto of Futurist painting", also signed by Severini and dances. The goal of the modern artist should be, according to the authors, get rid of models and figurative traditions from the past, to turn resolutely to the contemporary world, lively, dynamic, constantly evolving.

In his works, Boccioni perfectly expresses the movement of the shapes and the concreteness of matter through the multitudes of people in the city by the chaotic frenzy of everyday reality. Become the artist who best knows how to portray the modern life, rushed and stressful, the machine in motion is the main symbol.

Although influenced by Cubism, which admonishes excessive immobility, Boccioni avoids in his paintings the straight lines and uses complementary colors. In paintings like "dynamism of a cyclist" (1913), or "dynamism of a football player" (1911), the depiction of the same subject in stages over time suggests the idea of moving in space.

Similar attention and study also dominates the sculpture by Boccioni, for which the artist often neglects the noble materials such as marble and bronze, preferring wood, iron or glass, beginning to incorporate fragments of objects in plaster casts of sculptures.

His commitment is focused on the interaction of a moving object with the surrounding space. Unfortunately very few sculptures have survived.

Among the most important paintings of Boccioni are "brawl in Gallery" (1910), "moods # 1. "Farewells (1911) and" forces of a road "(1911). Boccioni modernizes the pictorial style using its own language, and participates actively in all initiatives becoming the Futurist painter more representative of this current.

Serves in various European capitals exhibitions of Futurist painters and writes the "Manifesto of Futurist sculpture", where he exhibited his theories on simultaneity and dynamism, already partially expressed in the "technical Manifesto of Futurist painting."

Since 1912, the year of the first Futurist exhibition in Paris at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Boccioni applies the concept of "plastic dynamism" to the sculpture, while continuing the study of dynamics of human body, through a long series of drawings and watercolours.

From 1913 he collaborated to the magazine "Lacerba", organized by the Florentine Futurist group headed by Ardengo Soffici, but plastic dynamism meets hostility by some futurists and cultural environments of public disinterest.

At the outbreak of the first world war Umberto Boccioni, like many intellectuals, is in favour of Italy enters the war: enlisted as a volunteer in the Lombard Battalion cyclists and part for the front with Marinetti, Russolo, Sant'Elia and Sironi. During his war effort is finally about the Futurist theory enunciated by Marinetti, that war is "the world's only hygiene". Coins then his famous equation "war = insects + boredom".

During the war Umberto Boccioni cooperates with the magazine "Happenings" and returned to his old master. In December 1915 the battalion was disbanded and in July the following year Boccioni is assigned to the field artillery and intended to Verona.

Apply the plastic dynamism his paintings and abandons the traditional approach by combining internal and external, real-world data and those of memory, into a single image. This develops the features "force-lines" tracing the trajectory of a moving object in space.

His very personal style, looking for dynamism, leads him to approach to Expressionism and Cubism in order to put the viewer in the center of the picture to make it feel involved and participating.

On August 17, 1916 Umberto Boccioni randomly dies (Verona), following a fall from a horse, in the prime of his pictorial revolution that took him from Futurism to plastic dynamism.

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