Fortunato Depero, Skyscrapers and Tunnels (Gratticieli e tunnel), 1930. Tempera on paper, 68 x 102 cm. MART, Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome. Photo: © MART, Archivio Fotografico
When he published his 1909 “Founding and Manifesto of Futurism”, Italian poet and intellectual Filippo Tommaso Marinetti initiated the Italian Futurism movement. Futurist ideas were first spread through literary means but were quickly adopted by the visual and performing arts, advertising and even fashion, interior and industrial design.
To be a Futurist in the Italy of the early 20th century was to be modern, young, and insurgent. Inspired by the markers of modernity—the industrial city, machines, speed, and flight—Futurism’s adherents exalted the new and the disruptive. They sought to revitalize what they determined to be a static, decaying culture and an impotent nation that looked to the past for its identity. -Introduction, Italian Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe, Guggenheim
Futurists wanted to do away with old ideas and traditions. They loved speed, new technology and machinery, industrialisation and war. Visually, they explored ways to fragment form, dismantle time and space and represent speed and dynamism. Futurist painters used Divisionism and later Cubism to separate elements and colors and give an impression of dynamism and movement.
“Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe” examines the historical sweep of the movement from its inception with F. T. Marinetti’s founding manifesto in 1909 through its demise at the end of World War II. The exhibition features more than 360 works executed between 1909 and 1944, encompassing not only painting and sculpture, but also advertising, architecture, ceramics, design, fashion, film, free-form poetry, music, performance, photography, publications, and theater. –On View, Italian Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe, Guggenheim
Italian Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe is at the Guggenheim until September 1.