This is the third work by the Italian futurist Giacomo Balla that the museum has acquired since 2013. The folding screen (‘paravento’) is one of the four surviving folding screens by Balla, two of which are in the Kröller-Müller collection. Paravento con linea di velocità (1916-1917) was acquired in 2015. Paravento is a fine example of the futurists’ pursuit of a new, contemporary design for all aspects of life. The futurists did not limit themselves to visual art, but designed and produced a wide variety of functional objects, from furniture and carpets to ceramics and books, and were involved in advertising, theatre, film and architecture.

Explosions of shapes and colour

Balla was unsurpassed in his dedication to the design of everyday life. In the many objects that he designed, central futurist concepts such as speed and sound are expressed in a wide variety of abstract and rhythmic forms and in true explosions of shapes and colour. The applications were unlimited and not an inch was left uncovered. For Balla, this ‘decorativismo cromato astratto’ (abstract chromatic decorativism) was an expression of freedom and human creativity, which he regarded as essential for avant-garde art.