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Umberto Boccioni, Study for 'The City Rises', 1910 - Courtesy of Estorick Collection

Italian Futurism

8 October 2019

The lovely Georgian building that houses the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art opened in London in 1998. Not everybody is familiar with this delightful place, where one can have snacks and coffee, bask in the pleasant garden giving a thought to the generosity of the Estorick family: this is the only gallery in Britain devoted to Italian modern art.

And we were lucky to visit it after closing hours in one of our most successful events, sipping a Campari or a Marinetti cocktail, following the enlightened and witty guidance of Giacomo Balsamo, our FAI UK trustee, a scholar of Italian Modern and Contemporary Art and the International Director of Post-War and Contemporary art at Bonhams.

He talked about il Futurismo, a great movement, which nourished talents like Boccioni, Severini, Balla, Sant’Elia and the great Luigi Russolo who deserves attention and admiration.

Indeed, a new awareness is overdue: Italian Futurism was a movement that embraced architecture, cuisine, poetry, prose, music: it had great parallels in Russia but it kept its very Italian soul. It dealt with speed, technology, the car, the industrial city, in short with movement in everything and movement is life, of course.

A new exhibition at the Estorick deals with three Boccioni lost masterpieces and Giacomo Balsamo turned into Hercule Poirot and told us how it all happened.

FAI UK was and is grateful to Bonhams and Campari for their sponsorship.


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