“Standing on the World’s Summit”: Futurism’s becoming... Week 5 Deborah Jackson
FuturismThis style of art evolved out of the style of Cubism Picasso “I paint forms as I Les Demoiselles D’Avignon think them, not as I (1907) see them”
SHAPE and FORM Cubism Futurism• to show the „concept‟ of an object rather than creating a detail of the real thing• to show different views of an object at once, emphasizing time, space & the Machine age• to simplify objects to their most basic terms
Transition form Cubism to Futurism Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending the Staircase (1913) is a pivotal piece in the transition from Cubism to Futurism.
Transition form Cubism to FuturismThe Futurists adoptedthe visual vocabularyof Cubism to expresstheir ideas - but with aslight twist.In a Cubist paintingthe artist recordsselected details of asubject as he movesaround it, whereas ina Futurist painting the Giacomo Ballasubject itself seems to Flight of the Swallowsmove around the (1913)artist.
Futurism• Italian movement• Influenced by Cubism• Speed, industrialisation, dynamism• War to cleanse the inequities of class socio- economic structure Gerardo Dottori Burning City (1926)
Carlo CarraFuneral of the Anarchist Galli(1910-11)
Futurism came into beingwith the appearance of amanifesto published by thepoet Filippo Marinetti on thefront page of the February 20,1909, issue of Le Figaro.Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944)
FuturismFirst announced on Feb 20th 1909 Newspaper Le Figaropublished a manifesto by the Italian poet and editor TommasoMarinetti: 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 worshiping of old canvases, old statues and old bric-a-brac, against everything which is filthy and worm-ridden and corroded by time. We consider the habitual contempt for everything which is young, new and burning with life to be unjust and even criminal.To purposely intended to inspire public anger and amazement, toarouse controversy, and to attract widespread attention.
"We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind.” Umberto Boccioni A Futurist Evening in Milan (1911)
What IS a manifesto? A public declaration of policy and aims
Marinettisummed up themajorprinciples ofthe Futurists:• a love of speed,technology andviolence• the technologicaltriumph of manover natureEnrico PrampoliniPortrait of Marinetti(1925)
Umberto Boccioni, The City Rises (1910)
“It is from Italy that we hurl at the whole world thisutterly violent, inflammatory manifesto of ours,with which we today are founding „Futurism‟,because we wish to free our country from thestinking canker of its professors, archaeologists,tour guides and antiquarians. For far too long Italyhas been a marketplace for junk dealers. We wantour country free from the endless number ofmuseums that everywhere cover her ground likecountless graveyards. Museums, graveyards! ...They‟re the same things, really, because of theirgrim profusion of corpses that no-oneremembers.”
“…the splendor of theworld has been increasedby a new beauty: thebeauty of speed. A racingcar, its body ornamentedby great pipes thatresemble snakes withexplosive breath…ascreaming automobile thatseems to run ongrapeshot, is morebeautiful than the WingedVictory of Samothrace…”Winged Victory of Samothrace [thefamous Hellenistic sculpture in theLouvre]
“We wish to glorify war – the sole cleanser of the world – militarism, patriotism, the destructive act of the libertarian, beautiful ideasworth dying for, and scorn for women.” Marinetti, Manifesto of Futurism (1909)
Marinetti was a master ofpublicity, and his writingsand dealings with thepublic and press set thetone for the controversiessurrounding Futurism.The movement wasdefined by themanifestoes and booksthat he published, whichwere distributed in manylanguages. As well as art,Marinetti wanted torevolutionize writing itself.
Italy had contributednext to nothing to19th centurydevelopments. Thefirst decade of thecentury had seen Italymade aware, throughnew magazines andexhibitions, ofImpressionism, Post-Impressionism ofvarious sortsincluding early worksof Matisse andPicasso, Symbolism,varieties of ArtNouveau etc.
Manifesto of the Futurist PaintersUmberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini TO THE YOUNG ARTISTS OF ITALY! “We are sickened by the foul laziness of artists, who, ever since the sixteenth century, have endlessly exploited the glories of the ancient Romans. In the eyes of other countries, Italy is still a land of the dead, a vast Pompeii, whit with sepulchres. But Italy is being reborn. Its political resurgence will be followed by aGino SeveriniThe Bear Dance (1913- cultural resurgence.”14)
A technologised savagery is palpable in most offuturisms artworks and proclamations. Technology is not so much used as worshipped or made anthropomorphic, as a kind of new deity. Luigi Russolo Dynamism of an Automobile (1912-13)
These are our final conclusions.With our enthusiastic adherence to Futurism, we will:• Destroy the cult of the past, the obsession with the ancients, pedantryand academic formalism.• Totally invalidate all kinds of imitation.• Elevate all attempts at originality, however daring, however violent.• Bear bravely and proudly the smear of “madness” with which they tryto gag all innovators.• Regard art critics as useless and dangerous.• Rebel against the tyranny of words: “Harmony” and “good taste” andother loose expressions which can be used to destroy the works ofRembrandt, Goya, Rodin...• Sweep the whole field of art clean of all themes and subjects whichhave been used in the past.• Support and glory in our day-to-day world, a world which is going to becontinually and splendidly transformed by victorious Science.The dead shall be buried in the earth‟s deepest bowels! The threshold ofthe future will be swept free of mummies! Make room for youth, forviolence, for daring!
BoccioniThe Street Entersthe House(1911)
Carlo CARRA The Funeral of the Anarchist Galli (1910-11) It was still the subjectUmberto BOCCIONIBrawl in The Milan Galleria matter rather than the(1910) idiom of their work that was new.
Luigi RussoloThe Revolt (1911)
Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting “The gesture which we would reproduce on canvas shall no longer be a fixed moment in universal dynamism. It shall simply be the dynamic sensation itself.”Umberto BoccioniDynamism of a cyclist(1913)
Indeed, all things move, all things run, all things are rapidly changing. Aprofile is never motionless before our eyes, but it constantly appearsand disappears. On account of the persistency of an image upon theretina, moving objects constantly multiply themselves; their formchanges like rapid vibrations, in their mad career. Thus a running horsehas not four legs, but twenty, and their movements are triangular .
Like in Da Vincis drawing Vitruvian Man, the possible alternative positions of the dogs and the ladys limbs are superimposed. This represents a break with the rules of classical European painting, which state that no part of a figure should be duplicated,Giacomo Balla unless its aDynamism of a Dog on a Leash mythical creature.(1912)
This work exemplifies the Futurists insistence that the perceived world is in constant motion. These paintings illustrate light, speed and movement, which Balla sought to break down to their simplest forms while moving closer to total abstraction.Giacomo BallaSpeed of a Motorcycle(1913)
Technical Manifesto of Futurist SculptureUmberto BoccioniUnique Forms of Continuityin Space(1913)
Manifesto of Futurist Women“Instead of putting men under theyoke of miserable, sentimentalneeds, drive your sons, your men, toexcel themselves. You create them.You can do everything with them.Youowe humanity heroes. Providethem!” Valentine de Saint- Point
Urban life was rapidlychanging and theyembraced this excitingvitality. Electric streetlighting andindustrialisation blurredthe distinction betweenday and night, while theexperience of lookingthrough the window of aspeeding train or cabrevealed new ways ofseeing the world.Umberto BoccioniForces of the street(1911)
HOW TO APPROACH THE QUESTION:Why were many modernist art movements motivatedby the principles of discrediting the academies andquestioning the parameters of art?• Modern art movements: A period dating from roughly the 1860s through the 1970s and describes the style and ideology of art produced during that era• Academies: What are the academies and what did they signify? What was there relationship with such institutions? What were they reacting against?• How did Modern art/artists discredit them? What motivated/provokes them?• What were the parameters/conventions of art, how had they been established?• What changes did this represent in society and culture?Don‟t forget to relate the question to specific artists and artworks!
NEXT WEEKRevolution and Rebuilding: Constructivism, De Stijl and the Bauhaus