“Formidabile Boccioni”, the futurist genius in a docufilm

FORMIDABLE BOCCION, Docufilm 54 ‘, 2022 | Courtesy of ARTE.it Originals / .ITsArt / Rai Cultura

On October 19, 1882, Umberto Boccioni was born in Italy, the soul of Futurism, a brilliant artist, a man of many anxieties and an adventurous life. After him, Italian and European art would never be the same: in love with modernity, Boccioni devoted all his energy to the invention of a new and revolutionary language, capable of expressing the spirit of his time.
Exactly 140 years after the artist’s birth, an unpublished documentary invites us to rediscover him on the screen. Produced by ARTE.it Originals with .ITsArt and Rai Cultura, written by Eleonora Zamparutti and Piero Muscarà with the direction of Franco Rado, FORMIDABLE BOCCIONI will be available exclusively on the .ITsART platform starting from 19 October 2022.

Ca ‘Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art in Venice, Frame from “Formidabile Boccioni” | © ARTE.it

To accompany the spectators on a journey full of surprises will be interviews with the greatest experts of Futurism, with collectors and directors of the museums that hold Boccioni’s masterpieces, from James Bradburne, director of the Brera Art Gallery, to Karole PB Vail, director of the Peggy Collection Guggenheim, and Danka Giacon, curator of the twentieth century in Milan, with the participation of art historians Ester Coen and Niccolò d’Agati, historian Giordano Bruno Guerri, biographer Gino Agnese and writer Marella Caracciolo Chia. Exceptional witnesses such as Romana Severini, daughter of the painter Gino Severini, and Floriane D’Auberville, great-granddaughter of the famous French gallery owner Joss Barnheim-Jeune, will animate the story with the freshness of those who have known the facts and protagonists of an unforgettable adventure up close. .

Frame from “Formidable Boccioni” | © ARTE.it

As in any well-woven plot, innumerable threads intertwine in the story of Boccioni’s life and artistic research, while in the background Italy on the brink of the Great War and the Europe of the avant-garde come to life. Between vintage films, period documents and images of famous masterpieces, we will follow Boccioni in his partnership with the futurist Marinetti or in the controversies with Picasso and the Cubists, in the grip of the fever of creation or the whims of a dancing mood, while giving scandal with his pictures or poses to tombeur de femmes. Until, by a curious irony of fate, a horse frightened by a moving train will put an end to the artist’s life and his fiery praise of modernity.

Among the many stories told in FORMIDABLE BOCCIONI there is one still open. That of the great futurist’s attraction to sculpture, in which, according to many, he would have given the best of himself. Challenging centuries of immobility, Boccioni set out to free once and for all this art of closed forms, of classical beauty. His great masterpiece, Unique forms of continuity in space, has become a universal icon, reproduced in millions of copies on 20 euro cent coins. After Boccioni’s death, however, his sculptures were destroyed, torn to pieces by an anonymous “pastist” artist, while in the most important museums of the world only reproductions remain. How could this happen? And above all, why?

Umberto Boccioni, “Unique forms of continuity in space”, Frame da “Formidable Boccioni” | © ARTE.it

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