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Un atelier futurista: la casa studio di Giacomo Balla


Anno: 2017

in: Materiali d'artista. L'atelier del pittore nell'Otto e Novecento

a cura di: M. d'Ayala Valva, J. H. Townsend


Casa Balla” in Via Oslavia, Rome, dating from 1929, provides an interesting glimpse into the artist’s world. Balla remade the furniture, plaster and masonry surfaces, ceramic tiles, lamps, carpets and wall hangings, as well as garments and household linen, into forms and expressions of a futurist world.

The peculiarity of this atelier, now run by the Italian State, is its inclusion in a real studio-home, closely linked to the daily life of the family who shared the artist’s choices and lifestyle, as well as the same artistic activity, carried out in part by his daughters Elica and Luce, even after their father’s death in 1958. Continuity of use can be seen in the well-preserved materials: oil paints, pigments, brushes, the easel, as well as a few paintings, sketches and drawings, are today a confused array where old bottles of Lefranc et Bourgeois varnishes stand side-by-side with newer metallic enamels and tubes of acrylic paints. All this requires an extremely critical approach by both art historian and conservator. T

he Conservation Department for Contemporary Art Materials of ISCR carried out a preliminary condition report of the studio contents, then conservation treatment of a painted sketch entitled “Le mani del Popolo Italiano”, and the entire “Studiolo Rosso”, a small room set aside for meditation and reading. The connection of data collected from the atelier and the works makes possible to sense the maestro’s great freedom of technique, and his innovative use of new industrial binders, perfectly in line with “Futur Balla” style.