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An Overview to Futurism

Updated on December 6, 2014

Futurism was born in Italy with the publication of Filippo Tommasso Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto on February 5, 1909. Every medium of art affected from this manifestation, including but not limited to painting, literature, sculpture, music, theatre, architecture. However, literature and the visual arts in particular were greatly influenced by Futurism. Marinetti was a writer, and some of the first artists to join this movement were painters such as Boccioni, Balla, and Severini.

If you read the manifesto, you will clearly see that it is not a friendly artistic programme at all, rather its aggressive philosophy states the significance of rebellism, anarchism, extreme nationalism and patriotism for an artist. In fact, one of the most distinguished aspects of Futurist art is the rejection of every artistic tradition and harmony in art.

Futurist painters used such Divisionist techniques as, short brush-strokes and broken-down light and colors, as developed by Giovanni Segantini. Meanwhile, with the adoption of the Cubist methodology, especially by Gino Severini and Umberto Boccioni, many Futurist painters were affected by the cubist style.

Futurism is generally considered an Italian art movement, but it soon came to the end with the First World War. During the war, many of the artists enlisted as soldiers and some lost their lives in the war. Furthermore, with the subsequent European art movement, the so-called Return To Order, as an embrace of traditional art, Futurisim and Cubisim were abandoned. Thus, in these six years, relatively few works produced by the Futurist artists, as you expected.

Paintings of Umberto Boccioni

A strada entra nella casa
A strada entra nella casa | Source
Visioni simultanee
Visioni simultanee | Source
The City Rises
The City Rises | Source
Laughter | Source
Charge of the Lancers
Charge of the Lancers | Source

Russian Futurism

The other country mainly inspired by Futurism is Russia. Russian Futurists, like their Italian contemporaries, embrace the dynamism and restlessness of modern life. Hylaea, a literary group, publish a manifesto called A Slap in the Face of Public Taste on 15 December 1913. Even though Hylae was regarded as the most influential group, there were other movements formed in Russia such as Ego-Futurism that created by Igor Severyanin and his companions.

Ego-Futurism was born in 1911 with a small brochure entitled as Prolog. Nonetheless, The movement finally get remarked after joining of Ivan Ignatyev to the group. Ego-Futurists advocate the ideology of Ego-God and searching for spirituality. At the same time, they disregarded by other Russian Futurists, because they found Ego-Futurist as immature, distasteful and offensive.

The other important movement was Cubo-Futurism established by Russian Futurist Painters, embrace the idea of dynamic spirited and modern art form. They formally adopted Cubisim and successfully combine it with the works of their Italian compeers.




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