Umberto Boccioni

Plastic Dynamism, Horse + Houses, 1914
Dinamismo plastico. Cavallo + case

Pencil and ink on paper
32.6 x 42.6 cm

The thrusting triangular forms that intersect with Umberto Boccioni's galloping horse in this powerful image are also found in a number of Giacomo Balla’s earlier studies of speeding vehicles, and are used here to convey rapid forward momentum as well as to suggest the outlines of the buildings past which the animal races. The drawing is closely related to an important mixed-media sculpture created by the artist around the same period titled Dynamism of a Running Horse + Apartment Buildings (Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection). Curiously, whilst Boccioni repeatedly stressed the need for artists to address modern subject matter in their works, his own Futurist imagery tended to focus on the movement of horses and striding human figures rather than more modern, industrial motifs.

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