Futurism- Artistic Moviment (1909-1930)

An international art movement developped in Italy
Futurism first appeared on February 20, 1909, when the french newspaper Le Figaro published a manifesto written by the Italian poet and editor Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Marinetti coined the word Futurism to express his desire of discarding the art of the past and celebrating change, originality, and innovation in culture and society.

Marinetti’s manifesto glorified the new technology of the automobile and the beauty of its speed, power, and movement. Exalting violence and conflict, he called for the sweeping repudiation of traditional values and the destruction of cultural institutions such as museums and libraries. The manifesto’s rhetoric was passionately bombastic; its aggressive tone was purposely intended to inspire public anger and arouse controversy.

Info source: http://www.britannica.com


Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913 (cast 1931), bronze (MoMA)
Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913 (cast 1931), bronze (MoMA)

Image source: https://www.khanacademy.org

What was the Futurist Manifesto?

Marinetti launched Futurism in 1909 with the publication of his “Futurist manifesto” on the front page of the French newspaper Le Figaro. The manifesto set a fiery tone. Marinetti lashed out against cultural tradition (passatismo, in Italian) and called for the destruction of museums, libraries and feminism. Futurism quickly grew into an international movement and its participants issued additional manifestos for nearly every type of art: painting, sculpture, architecture, music, photography, cinema—even clothing.

Info source: https://www.khanacademy.org

Umberto Boccioni, Materia, 1912 (reworked 1913), oil on canvas, 226 x 150 cm (Mattioli Collection loaned to Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice)
Umberto Boccioni, Materia, 1912 (reworked 1913), oil on canvas (Mattioli Collection loaned to Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice)

Image source: https://www.khanacademy.org

Which was the main features of Futurism?

The Futurists were fascinated by the problems of representing modern experience and strived to have their paintings evoke all kinds of sensations – and not merely those visible to the eye. At its best, Futurist art brought to mind the noise, the heat and even the smell of the metropolis.
Unlike many other modern art movements, such as Impressionism and Pointillism, Futurism was not immediately identified with a distinctive style. Instead, its adherents worked in an eclectic manner, borrowing various aspects from Post-Impressionism, including Symbolism and Divisionism. It was not until 1911 that a distinctive Futurist style emerged, and then it was a product of Cubist influence.
The Futurists were fascinated by new visual technology, in particular by the chrono-photography, a predecessor of animation and cinema that allowed the movement of an object to be shown across a sequence of frames. This technology was an important influence on their approach of showing movement in painting, encouraging an abstract art with rhythmic, pulsating qualities.
Info source: http://www.theartstory.org
Giacomo Balla, Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash, 1912, oil on canvas, 35 1/2 x 43 1/4 " (Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo)
Giacomo Balla, Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash, 1912, oil on canvas

Image source: https://www.khanacademy.org

What characterized the Futurism’s style?

The Futurists were particularly excited by the works of the late 19th-century scientists and by the photographer Étienne-Jules Marey, whose chronophotographic (time-based) studies depicted the mechanics of animal and human movement. He was a precursor of the cinema and his innovative experiments with time-lapse photography were particularly influential for Balla. In his painting Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash, the artist playfully depicted the dog’s (and dog walker’s) feet in continuous movements through space over time. Fascinated by the idea of “dynamic,” the Futurists sought to express an object’s sensation, rhythm and movement in their images, poems and manifestos. Such characteristics were beautifully expressed in Boccioni’s most iconic masterpiece, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (see above).

Info source: https://www.khanacademy.org

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