Umberto Boccioni's Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, a work which represents a striding figure who appears to be coming apart at the seams, has become an icon of the Italian avant-garde movement known as ‘Futurism’. In 1913, the time of the work's creation, Italy was rushing headlong into a future that promised much but would turn out to be horrific in its consequences. Within 10 years, Boccioni was dead, millions had been slaughtered in the carnage of WWI and Mussolini's fascist government was in power. What can Boccioni's sculpture tell us about this most tumultuous period in Italy's history?
Anthony White is a Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Melbourne, a specialist in Italian modern art and the author of Lucio Fontana: Between Utopia and Kitsch (MIT Press, 2011).
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