Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

Estorick Collection Building
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The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art opened in London in 1998. Its new home - a Grade II listed Georgian building - was restored with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and contains six galleries, an art library, cafe and bookshop. The Collection is known internationally for its core of Futurist works, as well as figurative art and sculpture dating from 1890 to the 1950s.

During their 1947 honeymoon in Switzerland, Eric and Salome Estorick discovered Umberto Boccioni’s book Futurist Painting and Sculpture (1914) which marked the beginning of their passion for Italian art. Before returning to England the newlyweds visited the studio of the erstwhile Futurist Mario Sironi in Milan, where Estorick bought ‘hundreds and hundreds of drawings and as many pictures as I could get into my Packard Convertible Roadster’. The couple travelled to Italy frequently during the late 1940s and 1950s, meeting and befriending major artists of the day, and adding to their impressive collection of artworks.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Museum

Opening hours

Wed-Sat 1100-1800
(First Thu of each month 1100-2000)
Sun 1200-1700

Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays

Admission charges

£6.50, Concessions £4.50
National Art Pass £3.25
Free to school children and full time students with valid NUS ID card.
Admission to café and shop free.

Discounts

  • Museums Association
  • National Art Pass
Getting there

Rail/Underground
Highbury and Islington (Victoria Line), 4 stops from Oxford Circus and 1 stop from Kings Cross. London Overground (formerly Silverlink Metro) to Highbury and Islington Station. Network Southeast to Essex Road Station.

Buses
271 to door; 4, 19, 30, 43 to Upper Street/Canonbury Lane; 38, 56, 73, 341 to Essex and Canonbury Roads

We have two bike racks located in the gallery garden

Collection details

Archives, Fine Art

Key artists and exhibits

  • Giacomo Balla
  • Umberto Boccioni
  • Carlo Carra
  • Gino Severini
  • Giorgio de Chirico
  • Amedeo Modigliani
  • Giorgio Morandi
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Black and white photograph of Umberto Boccioni's sculpture Synthesis of Human Dynamism and its digital rendering in blue 3D mesh

Umberto Boccioni: Recreating the Lost Sculptures

  • 25 September — 22 December 2019 *on now

The destruction, in 1927, of a number of plaster and mixed-media sculptures by the Futurist artist Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916) was a tragic loss for avant-garde art. Of the many ground-breaking sculptures he created between c.1913 and 1915, only a handful remain in existence today. Now, using a combination of vintage photographic material and cutting-edge 3D printing techniques, digital artists Matt Smith and Anders Rådén have recreated four of Boccioni’s destroyed works: a volumetric study of a human face titled Empty and Full Abstracts of a Head, and three of the artist’s iconic striding figures. This ground-breaking display enables modern audiences to ‘see’ these lost masterpieces for the very first time.

Boccioni’s interest in sculpture developed during the early part of 1912. He wrote: “Recently, I am obsessed with sculpture! I believe I have seen the means of achieving a complete renewal of this mummified art.” Later that year he published his ‘Technical Manifesto of Futurist Sculpture’, in which he called for the rejection of conventional materials such as marble and bronze. His best-known sculptures were created in a single material (plaster) and focused on the problem of how to capture movement in a static image – one of the key concerns of early Futurist art. However, his approach differed markedly from that of his fellow Futurists by seeking to convey a fluid, intuitive experience of movement. Boccioni’s best-known three-dimensional work is Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, the original plaster version of which belongs to the University of São Paulo’s Museum of Contemporary Art. One of the most instantly recognisable of all modernist sculptures, it appears on the Italian 20c coin. Dating from 1913, the work represents an aerodynamic figure – part man, part machine – racing energetically towards the brave new world envisioned by the Futurist movement. It was preceded by three sculptures on the same theme: Synthesis of Human Dynamism, Speeding Muscles and Spiral Expansion of Muscles in Movement. Until now, all that remained of these earlier works were a number of photographs taken in Boccioni’s studio and at three exhibitions around the world from 1913 to 1917. Careful study and comparison of these images has now enabled the creation of highly accurate 3D reconstructions of the original works, which were entrusted to a sculptor named Piero da Verona following the artist’s death, who subsequently disposed of them.

In addition to the full-size 3D prints, the exhibition will feature smaller maquettes highlighting those areas where Rådén and Smith had to compensate for a lack of photographic documentation, drawing on the insights they had gained into Boccioni’s stylistic vocabulary in order to complete their reconstructions of the works. Time-lapse recordings of the printing and digital sculpting processes will also be included, as will a number of sketches and working drawings for the final prints.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Admission
£7.50, Concessions £5.50
National Art Pass £3.75
Free to under 18s and full time students with valid NUS ID card.
Admission to café and shop free.

Concessions:
Senior Citizens
Registered Disabled
Job Seekers
Museum Association Cardholders
London Culture Cardholders
Art Historians Association Cardholders
Engage Cardholders

Website

https://www.estorickcollection.com/exhibitions/boccioni-recreating-the-lost-sculptures

Getting there

Rail/Underground
Highbury and Islington (Victoria Line), 4 stops from Oxford Circus and 1 stop from Kings Cross. London Overground (formerly Silverlink Metro) to Highbury and Islington Station. Network Southeast to Essex Road Station.

Buses
271 to door; 4, 19, 30, 43 to Upper Street/Canonbury Lane; 38, 56, 73, 341 to Essex and Canonbury Roads

We have two bike racks located in the gallery garden

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
39a Canonbury Square
London
Greater London
N1 2AN
England

logo: Museums at Night

Website

http://www.estorickcollection.com

E-mail

curator@estorickcollection.com

Telephone

020 7704 9522

Fax

020 7704 9531

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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