In September 1919 Balla was in Viareggio with his family: struck by the force of the sea, he created - through various studies and sketches - a dozen canvases of the same size (70 x 100) 35 in "bizarre frames" 36. The frames are made by Balla following the wavy course of the sea and colored with the same color palette of the composition: gray for the sea moved by the libeccio or blue for the calm one with sailing boats, pink at dawn or bluette at sunset….
Worthy of note in this frame-painting context is the Self-portrait37 of the 1920s, where Balla portrays himself in a complicated futurist elaboration with colors accentuated in a psychological and theatrical key. "The effect was complicated by a cumbersome frame that can be seen in a photograph taken in 1928 in Valle Giulia, dressed in the cheerful colors of Futurism" 38. Gone missing, the frame was found and reunited with the painting by Maurizio Fagiolo in 1986.
"Our IDEALIST has a temperament (he would say) who understands much better with the voices of the infinite than with ours" 39. In this roundup of works with an autograph frame, also for the twenties I dwell on some masterpieces with the most well-known themes40. The perennial struggle of good over evil, of positive over negative, of futurism over pastism finds clear examples in two themes from 1920 and 1923, presented here with their carved and colored frames: Obscurantism and progress together with Espansionuree of optimism pessimism. In the first41, "the futurist theme of the triumph of modernity [is] identified in the science that illuminates the ignorance of the past, represented here by the black background, on which adamantine wedges of light, with acid colors, insinuate themselves, which like fiery tongues envelop them. The carving of the frame, which in the gray triangles follows the expansion of the internal radiations of the picture, leads to the extreme consequence of Balla's intent to make the picture a homogeneous work "42. In the canvas Espanionuree di pessimismo optimismo 43, Balla he frames in a frame colored in black on the left - pessimism - and in blue on the right - optimism - his “observations and considerations of a social order, studies of movement and plasticity in tumultuous times of struggles and contrasts. Pessimism and optimism: contrast, struggle of opposing forces and both necessary forces ”44. A frame almost larger than the image is used by Balla to create the work Expansion - Depth - Dynamic45, a gift from the artist himself to Luigi Aversano.