Topics: Futurism, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni Pages: 12 (3056 words) Published: May 18, 2011




Background information


Futurist Painting

Futurist Sculpture





What is Futurism?

Futurism was an art movement originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It was largely an Italian phenomenon, though there were parallel movements in Russia, England and elsewhere.

Futurism is a term that may suggest a number of things. For example, when we describle soething as being ‘futuristic’, we mean to convey an idea of scientific and technological advance beyond that which presently exists. The notion of ‘futuristic’ carries with it not only extraordinary technological development but also a complemaentary vision of the mind and body transformed, giving human beings new mental and physical powers. Thus’futuristic’ tends to imply the infinite possibilities of progress for which there are always signs in the present – the futuristic car designs, presented to us today in increasingly sophisticated adverts, conjurt up this world that is yet to come.

Obviously, ‘futurism’ also suggests simply an idea of a segement of time, deriving from the structuring of our experience and language around a tripartite scheme of past, present and future. Nineteenth-and twentieth-century philosophers, writers and artists, from the Pre-Raphaelites and Marcel Proust, through Henri Bergson and Umberto Boccioni, to Jean-Paul Sartre and Francis Bacon have been greatly preoccupied with time. Background Information

The Italian writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was its founder and most influential personality. He launched the movement in his Futurist Manifesto, which he published for the first time on 5th February 1909 in La gazzetta dell'Emilia, an article then reproduced in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro on 20 February 1909. In it Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing of everything old, especially political and artistic tradition. "We want no part of it, the past", he wrote, "we the young and strong Futurists!" The Futurists admired speed, technology, youth and violence, the car, the airplane and the industrial city, all that represented the technological triumph of humanity over nature, and they were passionate nationalists.

The Futurists practiced in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture and even gastronomy

Moreover, they repudiated the cult of the past and all imitation, praised originality, "however daring, however violent", bore proudly "the smear of madness", dismissed art critics as useless, rebelled against harmony and good taste, swept away all the themes and subjects of all previous art, and gloried in science. Cerebration

Marinetti's impassioned polemic immediately attracted the support of the young Milanese painters – Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carra, and Luigi Russolo - who wanted to extend Marinetti's ideas to the visual arts. (Russolo was also a composer, and introduced Futurist ideas into his compositions). The painters Giacomo Balla and Gino Severini met Marinetti in 1910 and together with Boccioni, Carrà and Russolo issued the Manifesto of the Futurist Painters. It was couched in the violent and declamatory language of Marinetti's founding manifesto, opening with the words,

“The cry of rebellion which we utter associates our ideals with those of the Futurist poets. These ideas were not invented by some aesthetic clique. They are an expression of a violent desire, which burns in the veins of every creative artist today. ... We will fight with all our might the fanatical, senseless and snobbish religion of the past, a religion encouraged by the vicious existence of museums. We rebel against that spineless worshipping of old canvases, old statues and old bric-a-brac, against everything...
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