Girl running on a balcony (1912), oil on canvas
Dinamismo di un cane al guinzaglio
(Dynamism of a dog on a leash) (1912)
Planet Mercury Passing in Front of the Sun, 1914
Plastic Ensemble (1915)
Autostati d’animo (1920)
Born in 1871, Giacomo Balla was the senior member of the first wave of Futurist painters and was a teacher (Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini were pupils). His early, pre-Futurist period was influenced by the pointillism of Georges Seurat. In 1912 he joined the Futurist movement. His painting style underwent a dramatic change about 1909 when he became preoccupied with the pictorial depiction of light, movement and speed. In his work to 1914 he decomposed movement and light but his compositions moved ever closer to total abstraction as, for example, with Perils of War (1915). By 1914 Balla was advocating a Futurist lifestyle - he even named his two daughters Propeller and Light - and his energies expanded to include sculpture and the applied arts, especially costume and theatre design. In the Twenties, during the so-called second wave of Futurism, Balla was still a compelling force within the ranks of the new, young Futurists. Gradually giving more value to geometric forms, his style regularly alternated between abstract machine-like constructions and figurative representations. Giacomo Balla died in 1958.