HUMAN FORMS IN MOVEMENT
Here we present our findings and theories from the research during the reconstruction process, especially findings that are at odds with current Boccioni research.
Hidden in the photos?
Human Forms in Movement is the most intriguing and elusive of all Boccioni's sculptures. There are no known photographs of it, and perusing all the exhibition catalogues of Boccioni's works of art makes it evident that Human Forms in Movement was only exhibited twice; first in Rome, December 1913, and again in Florence, March 1914 (1, encircled in red in the respective exhibition catalogues). The sculpture was not mentioned again, and it was most likely destroyed together with a lot of Boccioni's other works in 1927.
It is however possible that this sculpture is partly visible in an unfinished state in a number of photographs taken in Boccioni’s studio in April-May 1913 (2, to the left). It is certainly plausible that Boccioni had started sculpting Human Forms in Movement but did not have time to finish it in time for the Paris exhibition at Galerie La Boëtie starting in June – since it does not appear in the catalogue. However, he may have managed to finish it in time for the Rome exhibition in December. Furthermore, the title of the work would also suggest that it is a striding form, and thus quite large in keeping with the other striding sculptures.
Most of Boccioni's sculptures started out as preparatory sketches, and we believe the same must have been the case here. There are some 20 sketches on the theme of Human Forms in Motion (here an example, 3) to give us a very rough idea of what Boccioni sculpted.
[Published April 2020]