Sculpture Journal

Recasting the past: on the posthumous fortune of Futurist sculpture

Sculpture Journal (2014), 23, (3), 349–368.

Abstract

This article reconstructs the micro-history of some of the most influential examples of Futurist sculpture. It retraces the fate of Umberto Boccioni’s plaster sculptures and clarifies the context in which the bronze copies now in major international museums have been conceived, realized and interpreted over the years. It also reveals which technical specificities and theoretical models determined in the 1960s the fate and fortune of the sculptures by another major Futurist artist, Giacomo Balla. Elaborating further on current scholarly debates over the status of posthumous replicas, this article reconsiders the technical details proper to Futurist sculptures in the light of the interpretative models that were over time used to assess them. By doing so, it demonstrates how choices in the conservation and replication of Futurist sculpture have been closely intertwined with Futurism’s own process of canonization.

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Author details

Versari, Maria Elena