05 June 2017

Back to the Futur(ism)

Hot on the heels of making a long list of exhibitions I'd like to see - about half of which I might get to - I took myself to the nearest, at the Estorick Collection in Highbury, a pleasant walk of less than an hour (not quite 10,000 steps).

Giacomo Balla: Designing the Future is on till 25 June. It encompasses figurative painting and drawing, as well as abstraction and applied art and many of Balla’s fashion-related designs. Balla was one of the signatories of the Futurist Manifesto (1910) and did some very dynamic painting, eg cars and motorcycles travelling at speed; he sought to apply art to everyday life ... and came up with some wonderful patterning.

I didn't have time to draw in the exhibition, got there half an hour before it closed, but this one certainly made me want to draw -
Perfectly puzzling for paper piecing!
This small work, which is "among the earliest examples of 20th century abstraction", looked intriguingly shimmering, as if it was painted on layers of glass -
 The wall label said -

His designs for clothing were intended to come to life as the wearer moved -

 ... and this clothes rack is a fitting setting for those clothes when they're having a rest -

And now a grumble - here's an early painting, titled "A Woman Sewing" -
A Woman Sewing (1896)
What is she doing, though?
Those hands, though, are not in a sewing position. Don't you think she's crocheting?

This error a problem of translation from Balla's Italian title? If so - or even if not so - why oh why are writers, curators, even artists perhaps, so careless with (or ignorant of) terms relating to any form of "needlework" ... just another "woman's craft", is it?

1 comment:

irene macwilliam said...

wow I just love the clothes rack