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Important Italian Futurist Secretary / Desk / Etagere Attr. to Giacomo Balla


An extraordinary Italian Futurist work of sculpture which functions as an etagere, secretary, desk, bookcase or shelves. The structure of the rare and stunning work expresses the Futurists fascination with speed and continual movement in its use of multiple planes and defracted space; and the use of veneers of several woods arranged in contrasting linear patterns convey the theme through the piece's surface treatment. As such it along with it's two matching armchairs forms one of top futurist works in furniture ever created. Ettore Sottsass took inspiration in this work in his open shelf/cabinet creations for Memphis Design in 1980. Literature: See Italian Futurism: 1909-1944, Gugenheim Museum, New York, NY, 2014, p.216 for drawing with similar concepts by Giacomo Balla. See New York Cottages and Gardens, April 2014, p. 34. "The Futurists expressed a passionate loathing of everything old, especially political and artistic tradition. It's originator Marinetti proclaimed: "We want no part of it, the past", he wrote, "we the young and strong Futurists!" The Futurists admired speed, technology, youth and violence, the car, the airplane and the Industrial city, all that represented the technological triumph of humanity over nature, and they were passionate nationalists. They repudiated the cult of the past and all imitation, praised originality, "however daring, however violent," bore proudly "the smear of madness," dismissed art critics as useless, rebelled against harmony and good taste, swept away all the themes and subjects of all previous art, and gloried in science."   


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    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 53.25 in. x W 56 in. x D 17 in.

    H 135.26 cm x W 142.24 cm x D 43.18 cm

  • Seller location
    New York, NY
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About the Seller

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1stdibs seller since 2004
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Located in New York, NY
20th Century Specialists
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