Giacomo Balla, 150 years after his birth, opens his fabulous house museum in Rome to the public

«We will give skeleton and flesh to the invisible, the impalpable, the imponderable, the imperceptible. We will find abstract equivalents of all the forms and elements of the universe, then we will combine them together, according to the whims of our inspiration, to form plastic complexes that we will set in motion ». So wrote Giacomo Balla and Fortunato Depero in their Manifesto for Futurist reconstruction. They were faithful to their principles, and they also took it into account when furnishing their homes.

July 18 will be 150 years since the birth of the great artist, sculptor, painter and “free word” and, to celebrate the anniversary, the Maxxi has decided to celebrate him with a major exhibition, “From home to the Universe and back”, which also includes the reopening, absolutely exceptional and by reservation, of the legendary home of Balla in Rome, in via Oslavia 39 B. In that house on the fourth floor the artist lived there with his wife for thirty years, from 1929 until his death, which occurred in 1958, when he was 87.

The house is a true “total project” made up of painted walls, strange and hand-painted furniture and utensils, which make it a true work of art in its own right. It can be said that there is nothing that has not been, in some way, touched by his genius, from the ties in the wardrobe to the knick-knacks. As long as the daughters Luce and Elica lived, who continued to live in that kaleidoscope of colors, everything remained substantially unchanged. In the seventies, the lawyer Gianni Agnelli arrived in person, who wanted at all costs to buy the “Velocity” canvas, which today is at the entrance to the Lingotto.

Balla arrived in Rome in 1895, from his native Turin, and remained there practically all his life, apart from a Parisian parenthesis. For a long time, for that house whose cultural heritage should have been taken care of, there was a scandal. To support the maintenance of that house-museum, the heirs used the proceeds from the sale of serigraphs and carpets. Now, thanks to the interest of the structures (and in particular of the Special Superintendence of Rome Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape, of the General Direction of Contemporary Creativity of the Mic and the contribution of the Bank of Italy, as well as private sponsors), the dream of finally opening to the public this dream place has become reality. With the final goal, it is hoped, of a permanent opening.

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