The life and work of Giacomo Balla - FuturBalla - Life Light Speed

FuturBalla - Life Light Speed  - published by Skira September 2017

FuturBalla - Life Light Speed  - published by Skira September 2017

I've recently been given this new book to review, soon to be published by Skira.The book is dedicated to the work of the Italian artist Giacomo Balla and contains collections from private and public collections. It's a substantial book containing over 200 colour illustrations and essays by editor Ester Coen along with other contributors. FuturBalla pays tribute to an artist whose work connected Italian art and the classic avant-garde.

Giacomo Balla was born in Turin on the 18th July 1871 and was an only child. Turin had entered a severe economic depression and when Giacomo was 24, his mother decided they would move to Rome as she felt his career prospects would be better. Rome was experiencing a re-birth and this was exciting to Giacomo. He enjoyed it's surrounding countryside and also felt great empathy with the world of outcasts he met in the city.

I've not yet read the whole of the book but have enjoyed looking at the artwork within it and seeing how his work changed over the years. The book is in three sections - life, light and speed. It's very clear which of his works fall into each section. I'm including some of my favourites below.

His geometric watercolour studies of light within the middle section of the book are my personal favourites. I love his choice of colours and intricate patterns.

The Charmer - 1902 (crayon on paper)

The Charmer - 1902 (crayon on paper)

The Painstaking Artist - Portrait of Duilio Cambellotti, 1906 charcoal and white lead on paper

The Painstaking Artist - Portrait of Duilio Cambellotti, 1906 charcoal and white lead on paper

Iridescent Interpenetration no. 11 - 1912 pencil and watercolour on paper

Iridescent Interpenetration no. 11 - 1912 pencil and watercolour on paper

Iridescent Interpenetration no.10 1912-13 and study 1912.

Iridescent Interpenetration no.10 1912-13 and study 1912.

Iridescent Interpenetration no. 1 (1912-14) and no.4 Study of Light (1912-13)

Iridescent Interpenetration no. 1 (1912-14) and no.4 Study of Light (1912-13)

The oil painting below titled 'Abstract Speed' -The Car Has Passed (1913) is one of his more famous works and I remember looking at this work many years ago when I was a Music College student discussing how artists show speed and movement visually. It was such a pleasant surprise coming across this again within the book as I hadn't seen it since.

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The book is published 1st September 2017 and is available to pre-order here. I recommend this book as it's a visual feast and an interesting read.