Umberto Boccioni
Italian, 1882-1916
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
The Power of the Avant-Garde,
Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR)
Jewel City: Art from San Francisco's Panama-Pacific International Exposition,
de Young Museum
Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe,
Guggenheim Museum

Futurist painter and sculptor Umberto Boccioni sought to infuse art with the speed, power and dynamism of the machine age, proclaiming in the Manifesto of Futurist Painters (1910): “Let us fling open the figure and let it incorporate within itself whatever may surround it.” In Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913), the sleek bronze figure forcefully strides forth, its body rippling as if blown by the wind. While evocative of the flowing drapery of Classical stone sculptures like the winged Victory of Samothrace, the figure’s polished metallic surface and rhythmic, muscular energy also allude to modern technology and electricity. Although his career ended abruptly when he died in World War I, Boccioni’s fascination with the breakdown of solid mass continued to influence generations of artists and philosophers.