Unique Forms of Continuity in Space – Umberto Boccioni
By Isabel Lund
Umberto Boccioni was an Italian painter, printmaker, writer and sculptor (2). His work is centred on the portrayal of movement, speed and technology, and therefore his work on futurism represents the present and rejects the past (3). Unique Forms of Continuity in Space depicts a powerful human form in action, seemingly flying or gliding through the air. Boccioni did not show this through the repetition of arms, legs and faces, but by having fluid drapery flow behind and being armless. (2) The clinging drapery flows and whips back behind its legs as if moulded by the winds passing and this impacts on the figure as it makes it look as though it is striding forwards. Boccioni tried to show that sculptured figures need not to look absolutely still as few people are motionless in real life. (5)
Unique Forms of Continuity in Space is a smooth solid human looking shape. The influence of cubism and geometrism can be seen in the angular nature of this piece as it has many smooth lines with pointy sides and edges (4). The powerful body in action has the muscular look of a man. This is suggested, as the piece is very solid looking by having big toned thighs, and a big muscly looking back. Its smooth curved body and rippling lines outwardly give the sculpture its fluidity and aerodynamic form (3). The figure also appears to be simplified due to the lack of detail and features in the body, including it lacking a discernibly real face.
The sculpture’s surface has been made smooth and glossy as it helps represent speed making the figure look like it is moving faster. Boccioni has not tried to betray the natural medium, as it does not look like another medium in any way. Boccioni’s use of colour was not to create a harmonious form, but to show a powerful form. He made a very solid and powerful sculpture by using the material bronze. The colour bronze gives the sculpture a more intense and powerful...
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