A Short Intro to Futurism

The majority of art historical resources credit the Italian literary figure Filippo Tommaso Marinetti with founding Futurism in 1909, with the publication of his “Manifesto on Futurism.” While Futurism began primarily as a literary movement, its ideologies and aesthetics were likewise quickly adopted by a small community of young visuals artists. Futurists praised industrialism and technology; cities, speed, youth, mechanization, the supreme automobile. Furthermore, they detested the “old” and revolted against longstanding art forms and cultural institutions. The movement was brutally energetic, if not overtly violent, and had an inherently nationalistic character in Italy and Russia, where the technological innovations and political tensions of Europe sent cultures careening towards the first World War. Futurist painting, sometimes referred to as Cubo-Futurism frequently incorporates the Cubist technique of defining multiple three-dimensional planes flattened and reconstructed on a two-dimensional surface. One of the main goals of Futurist visual art is to represent the transformative movements of shapes through their simultaneously static and changing surroundings, all within a single image – a concept often referred to as “plastic dynamism,” on which Marinetti completed an authoritative essay. Futurist sculptures are also concerned with representing the metamorphosis and inconstancy of moving forms, within the confines of a fixed medium.

Giacomo Balla's painting "Abstract Speed + Sound" features sharp, cubic, abstract shapes and a palette of red, green, blue, and white to depict

Giacomo Balla's "Abstract Speed + Sound" (1913-14)

from WikipediaFuturism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasized and glorified themes associated with contemporary concepts of the future, including speed, technology, youth and violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane and the industrial city. It was largely an Italian phenomenon, though there were parallel movements in Russia, England and elsewhere. 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. Key figures of the movement include the Italians Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla, Antonio Sant’Elia, Tullio Crali and Luigi Russolo, and the Russians Natalia Goncharova, Velimir Khlebnikov, and Vladimir Mayakovsky. Futurism influenced art movements such as Art Deco, Constructivism, Surrealism, Dada, and to a greater degree, Rayonism and Vorticism.

Jolts of a Cab

Carlo Carrà's "Jolts of a Cab" (1911)

from Britannica:  Futurism, Italian Futurismo, Russian Futurizm, early 20th-century artistic movement centred in Italy that emphasized the dynamism, speed, energy, and power of the machine and the vitality, change, and restlessness of modern life. During the second decade of the 20th century, the movement’s influence radiated outward across most of Europe, most significantly to the Russian avant-garde. The most significant results of the movement were in the visual arts and poetry. Futurism was first announced on Feb. 20, 1909, when the Paris newspaper Le Figaro published a manifesto by the Italian poet and editor Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Marinetti coined the word Futurism to reflect his goal 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.