Umberto Boccioni / Antigraceful / 1913, cast 1950-51Umberto Boccioni
Antigraceful
1913, cast 1950-51

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Creator Name: Boccioni, Umberto
Creator Nationality: European; Southern European; Italian
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Italian, 1882-1916
Creator Name-CRT: Umberto Boccioni
Title: Antigraceful
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1913
Creation End Date: 1913
Creation Date: 1913, cast 1950-51
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: bronze
Dimensions: H. 23, W. 20-1/2, D. 20 in. (58.4 x 52.1 x 50.8 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1990.38.1
Credit Line: Bequest of Lydia Winston Malbin, 1989
Rights: http://www.metmuseum.org/
Context:

One of Umberto Boccioni's favored subjects was his mother, Cecilia Forlani Boccioni. From photographs and from Boccioni's own renderings of 1906 to 1915, she appears to have been a large matronly woman with a broad round face, thick knobby fingers, and elegantly upswept gray hair. Boccioni featured her in at least forty-five paintings, drawings, etchings, and sculptures, often producing a series of studies based on a single pose.

The title of his sculpture, 'Antigraceful,' refers to Boccioni's rejection of traditional artistic values. As he wrote in his book 'Pittura, scultura futuriste' (1914): 'We must smash, demolish, and destroy our traditional harmony, which makes us fall into a gracefulness created by timid and sentimental cubs. We disown the past because we want to forget, and in art to forget means to be renewed.' Using Cubist distortions and fragmentation, Boccioni attempted to undermine the accepted concepts of proportion, harmony, and beauty. He also attached elements from the surrounding environment to this portrait (such as the building rising from the mother's head) in a Futurist union of figure and space.

Boccioni began working in three dimensions in Paris about March 1912, when he wrote to a friend: 'These days I am obsessed by sculpture! I believe I have glimpsed a complete renovation of that mummified art.' A month later, in Milan, he published the 'Technical Manifesto of Sculpture,' and by June 1913 he had produced a significant body of eleven plaster sculptures that were exhibited at Galerie La Bo√ętie in Paris. Included in that exhibition was 'Antigraceful,' which may have been influenced by Pablo Picasso's bronze 'Head of a Woman' of 1909. Guillaume Apollinaire, an admirer of Boccioni's sculpture, admonished him to have his plasters cast in bronze.


AMICA ID: MMA_.1990.38.1
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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