Giacomo Balla
Abstract Speed - The Car has Passed 1913

Artwork details

Giacomo Balla 1871–1958
Abstract Speed - The Car has Passed
Velocità astratta - l'auto è passata
Date 1913
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 502 x 654 mm
frame: 552 x 704 x 52 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1970

Display caption

Ballà was a leading figure in the Italian Futurist group. He believed that the power and speed of machines such as cars were the salient characteristics of the modern age and aimed to express this idea in his work. This painting was originally the right-hand part part of a triptych. The left-hand part of the triptych was called 'Line of Force + Landscape' and the central one 'Lines of Force + Noise'. The theme of the triptych was the passage of a car along a white road, with green and blue forms, evoking earth and sky, in the background. The pinkish areas in this painting suggest the exhaust fumes left by the passing car.

September 2004

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