At the turn of the 20th century, a wind of change swept over Italy, shaking the foundations of artistic tradition. This was the era of Futurism, an artistic movement that sought to capture the dynamism and energy of the modern world through art.
The Futurists were scholars of the latest scientific and philosophical developments, but their true passion lay in aviation and cinematography. They rejected the oppressive weight of past cultures, especially in Italy, in order to propose a form of art that exalted modernity, industry, and technology.
The Origins of Futurism
In 1908, the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti narrowly avoided a cyclist and ended up in a ditch after his car went airborne. This experience, which pitted the old bicycle against the modernity of the automobile, inspired him to write his Futurist manifesto, a movement aimed at sweeping away nostalgia and tradition.
"We want to sing the man at the wheel, whose ideal stalk pierces the Earth, launched itself on the course of its orbit." - Futurist Manifesto, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
By 1910, young artists such as Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà and Luigi Russolo had joined Marinetti's movement. They suggested that Futurism could transcend the boundaries of literature and poetry, and these three artists wrote the Manifesto of Futurist Painters. They sent this manifesto to their colleagues Gino Severini and Giacomo Balla, who signed it. Together, these artists formed the central group of the Futurists.
The Key Concepts of Futurism
The Futurists sought to sweep away what they deemed outdated and traditional notions of art. They wished to replace them with an enthusiastic celebration of the industrial age. Their primary goal was to depict a dynamic vision of the future. To achieve this, they often portrayed urban landscapes and new technologies such as trains, cars, airplanes, and even weapons of war. They glorified speed, violence, and the working classes, which they viewed as the engines of change.
In order to capture movement and dynamism in their art, the Futurists developed techniques to express speed and motion. These techniques included blurring and repetition. They also used force lines, a method borrowed from Cubists. The Futurists worked in a wide variety of artistic forms, including painting, architecture, sculpture, literature, theater, and music.
Futurism is a testament to the boundless capacity of art to transcend the boundaries of time and illuminate our path towards the unknown.
Futurism has left an indelible mark on the Italian and international art landscape, revolutionizing the way we perceive the modern world. Through their works, the Futurists captured the very essence of their era, celebrating the speed, technology, and energy that surrounded them. Their legacy continues to inspire artists and creative minds today, bearing witness to the timeless significance of artistic innovation and the perpetual quest for the future.
Get in touch with our team; we are always happy to assist you with your inquiries.