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Born in Turin on July 18, 1871, Giacomo Balla studied music as a child and was mostly self-taught as an artist. His early, pre-Futurist period was influenced by the Pointilism of Georges Seurat and Italian Divisionism, a style developed by a group in northern Italy that shared Impressionism's concern with capturing the effects of light.
Balla was one of the founding members of the first wave of Futurist painters and was well established as a teacher, with Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini among pupils. Balla's participation in the Futurist movement coincided with a dramatic change in his painting style, when in about 1909 he became preoccupied with the pictorial depiction of light, movement and speed as outlined by the Futurists primary objective to depict movement, which they saw as symbolic of their commitment to the dynamic forward thrust of the twentieth century. These paintings addressed themes of work and humanitarian issues, reflecting his Socialist politics. Through Futurism Balla celebrated the machine and his early futurist paintings were concerned with capturing figures and objects in motion. Balla attempted to realize movement by showing the forms in repeated sequence. Paintings, such as Dog on a Leash, got to grips with the problem of recreating speed and flight by superimposing images.
(Source: Misha Bittleston )
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