Puneet Varma (Editor)

Abstract Speed Sound

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Year  1913–14 (1913–14)
Subject  abstract
Artist  Giacomo Balla
Period  Futurism
Media  milboard, Oil paint
Type  oil paint on millboard
Accession  76.2553.31
Created  1913–1914
Genre  Abstract art
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Dimensions  54.5 cm × 76.5 cm (21.5 in × 30.1 in)
Location  Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
Similar  Giacomo Balla artwork, Futurism artwork

Abstract Speed + Sound (Italian: Velocità astratta + rumore) is a painting by Italian Futurist painter Giacomo Balla, one of several studies of motion created by the artist in 1913–14. Balla chose the automobile as a symbol of speed, reflecting the statement of Futurist founder Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's 1909 first manifesto: "The world's splendor has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed... A roaring automobile...that seems to run on shrapnel, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace." The painting evokes the sensation of the passing of an automobile, with crisscrossing lines representing sound.

The painting may be the second in a triptych narrating the passage of a racing car through a landscape, beginning with Abstract Speed (Velocità + paesaggio) (1913) and ending with Abstract Speed—The Car Has Passed (1913). The three paintings share indications of a single landscape, and each painting is continued onto its frame.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses an apparent study for the painting, a 23.5 cm × 33 cm (9.3 in × 13.0 in) work in watercolor and graphite.

The painting is said to have captured the ideals of Italian Futurism. It was featured on the 1980 British television series 100 Great Paintings, which presented five paintings from each of 20 thematic groups.


Abstract Speed + Sound Wikipedia

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