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Giacomo Balla

Giacomo Balla (1871 - 1951) was an Italian painter, poet, art teacher and is especially known as a key figure of Futurism. His father, a photographer, introduced him to music in his early years, but died when Giacomo Balla was eight years old. Balla then worked as a lithographer, studied art, including at the University of Turin, and exhibited his first works early on. In 1895 he went to Rome, worked as an illustrator, caricaturist and portrait painter, and in 1899 participated for the first time in the Venice Biennale. In Rome he came into contact with other artists of Futurism, for example Filippo Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni or Gino Severini. He adopted the style of Futurism and developed strong expressions in painting of light, movement and speed (a well-known example is his 1912 work Dinamismo di un Cane al Guinzaglio). In 1910 he was a co-signer of the Futurist Manifesto and subsequently expanded his oevre, designing furniture and clothing and working sculpturally, as a muralist and stage designer. In the same year, together with his students, he designed the Technical Manifesto of the Futurist painters.

In 1935 Balla became a member of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome and exhibited at Documenta 1 in Kassel in 1955. Some of his works were part of Documenta 8 in 1987.


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