Umberto Boccioni Unique Forms of Continuity in Space 1913 (cast 1931 or 1934)

  • Not on view

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space integrates trajectories of speed and force into the representation of a striding figure. It does not depict a particular person at a specific moment, but rather synthesizes the process of walking into a single body. For Boccioni, one of the key figures in the Italian Futurist movement, this was an ideal form: a figure in constant motion, immersed in space, engaged with the forces acting upon it.

Boccioni professed no love for classical or Renaissance sculpture. In Futurist Painting Sculpture, a manifesto-style book published in 1914, he wrote that “anyone today who considers Italy to be the country of art is a necrophiliac who thinks of a cemetery as a delightful little alcove.” He declared that art should “have a strict historical relation with the moment in which it appears”; the sculpture of the early twentieth century, he felt, would evoke the speed and dynamism of Italy’s recent industrialization. Boccioni and the other Futurists even embraced the coming world war as a natural development, one that would destroy the remnants of the past and bring humans and machines closer together.

Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
Additional text

“Let us fling open the figure and let it incorporate within itself whatever may surround it,” Boccioni exclaimed. Breaking with sculptural tradition, he opened up the silhouette of this marching figure, who forges ahead as if carved by speed. While the triumphant stance and armless torso evoke statues from earlier art history, the polished metal alludes to sleek new technologies. Boccioni was a central figure in the Futurist movement, whose members vehemently renounced the past in favor of creating forms that emulated the dynamism and ingenuity of the machine age.

Gallery label from 2019

Boccioni, who sought to infuse art with dynamism and energy, exclaimed, “Let us fling open the figure and let it incorporate within itself whatever may surround it.” Breaking with the tradition of self-contained sculpture, Boccioni opens up the silhouette of this marching figure, who forges ahead as if carved by forces such as wind and speed. While born of Futurist aspirations, it also remains evocative of an ancient statue: the wind-swept, striding Victory of Samothrace in the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

Gallery label from 2018
UNIQLO ArtSpeaks: Hannah Levine on Umberto Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space
43 7/8 x 34 7/8 x 15 3/4" (111.2 x 88.5 x 40 cm)
Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest (by exchange)
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Provenance Research Project

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

1931 - 1944, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944), Rome, cast ordered from Gaetano Chiurazzi Foundry, Rome.
1944 - 1948, Benedetta Marinetti (1897-1977), Rome, inherited from Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.
1948, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, purchased from Benedetta Marinetti.

Provenance research is a work in progress, and is frequently updated with new information. If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please email [email protected] or write to:

Provenance Research Project
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].