Sculpture Against the State

Plaster version of Unique Forms of Continuity in Space
Mark Antliff

My new book project, Sculpture Against the State: Anarchism and the Cosmopolitan Avant-Garde, examines how various forms of anarchism and related notions of aestheticized violence, culled from the spheres of politics, ideology and popular culture, shaped the artistic development of three major innovators in the history of avant-garde sculpture: Umberto Boccioni, Jacob Epstein, and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. The book will address historians analyzing ideology and the history of the left in France, Italy, and Britain; philosophers who study the thought of Henri Bergson, Max Stirner, and the concept of nominalism; and experts across disciplines in the fields of ethics, law, aesthetics and gender studies, interested in the ways ideology, aesthetics, morality, masculinity and violence were conjoined in the early twentieth century.

At right: Umberto Boccioni, plaster version of Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, exhibited at the Galerie La Böetie, Paris, 20 June-16 July, 1913.