This morning I found a book I didn’t remember owning – a little book on how to build the fantastic little sculptural flowers of Giacomo Balla. Right now I am preparing the new exhibition for the 25th anniversary of the gallery – Futurist Photography – so I see Futurism everywhere, food included. As Marinetti wrote “We Futurists, Balla and Depero, seek to realize this total fusion in order to reconstruct the universe making it more joyful”. A joyful universe is a good idea for our anniversary I think.
Around 1920 Giacomo Balla built wooden flowers; new abstract forms in very vivid colors that created a new spring garden. Here, from an exhibition held in 2003 at the Nordenhake Gallery in Berlin, Balla’s installation.
In some ways so very close, yet clearly far from natural Flora, the Balla flowers look like toys with shapes that reflect his fantasy. Works of art.
The little book I have is not old, but printed in 2008 by Campanotto Editore and written by Italian writer Curzio Vivarelli. It gives guidance on how to build eight Balla flowers. Each flower with accurate drawings, an explanation on how to assemble them,
and the colors to paint them.
Balla’s love for bright vivid colors is surely apparent in these screens. On the left, made in 1915, “Screen with Speedline” was painted on wood. Also in wood, these screens were reproduced in 1971 in a limited edition by Italian manufacturer Gavina,
a more affordable piece of art.
Here, Fortunato Deperio’s series of 8 Rhinoceros, 1923.
In their Manifesto about toys, “ We will construct toys which will accustom the child to completely spontaneous laughter.” The Futurist toys could be very useful for adults too. Here, a toy by Depero, “Lady”, 1917.
Also by Depero – a chair-toy; abstract, dynamic, and brightly colored.
A design by Giacomo Balla for a teapot. Art for everyday life.
Here, a design for living room furnishings and walls by Giacomo Balla, 1918.
Again, live with art.