Giacomo Balla. Swifts: Paths of Movement + Dynamic Sequences. 1913

Giacomo Balla Swifts: Paths of Movement + Dynamic Sequences 1913

  • Not on view

Balla, one of the founding members of Futurism,spent much of his career studying the dynamics of movement and speed. The subject of this painting is the flight of swifts; black wings whir before a window. Inspired by photographic studies of animal locomotion such as those by French physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey, Balla created an image of motion pushed close to abstraction. The wings each represent a different position in a trajectory of motion, and the bird’s body is rendered as a diagrammatic line. Here Balla looks to science to establish a new, modern language for painting.

Gallery label from 2009
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
38 1/8 x 47 1/4" (96.8 x 120 cm)
Credit
Purchase
Object number
272.1949
Copyright
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome
Department
Painting and Sculpture