umberto boccioni was the artist who created a sculpture called:
Though primarily active as a painter for much of his short career, it was as a sculptor that Umberto Boccioni made his most important contribution to the history of art. While on one of his trips to Paris, he was seized with the idea of infusing sculpture with the modernity of Futurism. In 1912 he published his Futurist Painting Sculpture: Plastic Dynamism (Pittura scultura Futuriste: Dinamismo Plastico), and the following year he unveiled his masterpiece Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913). This semi-abstract sculpture depicts a striding figure, with billowing drapery around its legs, giving the sculpture an aerodynamic and fluid form. Although as a Futurist, Boccioni had no time for traditional plastic art, the work is still realistic and the lack of arms on the figure pays homage to Walking Man (1877, Rodin Museum, Paris) by Auguste Rodin.
Severini and Boccioni became pupils of Giacomo Balla (1871-1958). Through Balla they came to learn about Divisionism, the optical colour theory behind Seurat’s and Signac’s Neo-impressionism. They also came into contact with Vittore Grubicy, the powerhouse behind Italian Divisionism (1890-1907). Boccioni then spent some time in Paris and Venice (at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice) before moving to Milan. In Milan Boccioni found a forward-looking city, which was not entrenched in old fashioned artistic styles. Here he met the artists Romolo Romani and Gaetano Previati who introduced him to Pointillism and Symbolism. He also became acquainted with the founder of Futurism and its chief theorist, the Italian writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944).
In 1914 he published Pittura e scultura futuriste (dinamismo plastico) explaining the aesthetics of the group:
As he travelled from one city to the other, in parallel with his most ground-breaking artistic endeavours, he worked as a commercial illustrator. Between 1904 and 1909 he provided lithographs and gouache paintings to internationally renowned publishing houses, such as Berlin-based Stiefbold & Co. Boccioni’s production in this field shows his awareness of contemporary European illustration, such as the work of Cecil Aldin, Harry Eliott, Henri Cassiers and Albert Beerts, and attests to his information of contemporary trends in the visual arts more in general. 
Boccioni’s interest in sculpture developed during the early part of 1912. He wrote: “Recently, I am obsessed with sculpture! I believe I have seen the means of achieving a complete renewal of this mummified art.” Later that year he published his ‘Technical Manifesto of Futurist Sculpture’, in which he called for the rejection of conventional materials such as marble and bronze. His best-known sculptures were created in a single material (plaster) and focused on the problem of how to capture movement in a static image – one of the key concerns of early Futurist art. However, his approach differed markedly from that of his fellow Futurists by seeking to convey a fluid, intuitive experience of movement. Boccioni’s best-known three-dimensional work is Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, the original plaster version of which belongs to the University of São Paulo’s Museum of Contemporary Art. One of the most instantly recognisable of all modernist sculptures, it appears on the Italian 20c coin. Dating from 1913, the work represents an aerodynamic figure – part man, part machine – racing energetically towards the brave new world envisioned by the Futurist movement. It was preceded by three sculptures on the same theme: Synthesis of Human Dynamism, Speeding Muscles and Spiral Expansion of Muscles in Movement. Until now, all that remained of these earlier works were a number of photographs taken in Boccioni’s studio and at three exhibitions around the world from 1913 to 1917. Careful study and comparison of these images has now enabled the creation of highly accurate 3D reconstructions of the original works, which were entrusted to a sculptor named Piero da Verona following the artist’s death, who subsequently disposed of them.
In addition to the full-size 3D prints, the exhibition featured smaller maquettes highlighting those areas where Rådén and Smith had to compensate for a lack of photographic documentation, drawing on the insights they had gained into Boccioni’s stylistic vocabulary in order to complete their reconstructions of the works. Time-lapse recordings of the printing and digital sculpting processes were also included, as well as a number of sketches and working drawings for the final prints.
The centenary retrospective at Milan’s Palazzo Reale (until 10 July) – a rare chance to see the city’s extraordinary collections of works on paper with numerous loans – seeks to situate Boccioni among his influences and contemporaries, almost to the point of dilution. Dividing his career in two, the pre-Futurist section focuses on the recently rediscovered scrapbook of around 200 images the young Boccioni clipped from books, and collected as postcards, from around 1895 to 1909. Dubbed a ‘Memory Atlas’ by the curators (in homage to Aby Warburg), it reveals the diversity of the young artist’s interests from Albrecht Dürer to Anders Zorn. In his diaries Boccioni fears being dwarfed by his artistic heroes, but here his early Symbolist paintings, such as The Dream (1908–09) hold their own against the larger canvases of his Divisionist predecessors Giovanni Segantini and Gaetano Previati.
Boccioni is also widely recognised as a sensitive soul due to the innumerable depictions of his mother, made throughout his life. Such works, most notably the imposing Materia (1912–13), as well as the psychological drama of his personal writings, have elicited psychological, as well as art-historical analysis. His affection for his mother and sister were never matched by a romantic relationship. His last love affair, with the Princess Vittoria Colonna (a distant relative of Michelangelo’s friend of the same name), was cut short by his death. He died with a letter from her in his pocket, and had written to her before the accident. Distressed at having not heard from her, he wrote, ‘I haven’t even the strength to stay on my horse.’
The Farewells was the first of Boccioni’s three-part series, States of Mind, which has long been seen as one of the high points of the Futurist style in painting. The focal point of the picture is provided by movement itself – the locomotive, the airplane, the automobile: modern machines that gave new meaning to the word “speed.” In this work, set in a train station, Boccioni captures the dynamism of movement and chaos, depicting people being consumed by, or fused with, the steam from the locomotive as it whizzes past.
Oil on canvas – Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany