Expression dynamique d’une motocyclette en vitesse is one of the most purely futurist paintings by Jules Schmalzigaug, who is considered the only real Belgian futurist. A high point in his early career was his participation with six paintings in the international group exhibition of futurism Esposizione Libera Futurista Internazionale, which took place in April-May 1914 at the Galleria Futurista in Rome. Giacomo Balla, Carlo Carrà, Gino Severini and Umbertio Boccioni also participated in this exhibition.
Rediscovered in the 1980s
Shortly thereafter, the outbreak of the First World War forced him to return to Antwerp and subsequently The Hague. There he became acquainted with Dutch and (exiled) Belgian artists, such as Georges Vantongerloo and Rik Wouters. In the winter of 1916-1917 he took part in the Tentoonstelling van Belgische Kunst (Exhibition of Belgian Art) at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, with two paintings and several drawings. Schmalzigaug’s work fell into obscurity and was only rediscovered in the 1980s. In 1986, six of his paintings were included in the major retrospective of international futurism Futurisimo & Futurismi at Palazzo Grassi in Venice. He is well represented at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels and the Mu.ZEE in Oostende.