Futurism exhibition NY
Mar 31, 2014
The Guggenheim museum in New York traces the history of Futurism with an exhibition of over 300 pieces of the main leaders of the Italian avant-garde movement: “Italian Futurism (1909-1944 ). Reconstruction of the Universe” can be visited until September, 2014 .
It is not very common that such a loud, aggressive and revolutionary movement has received so little attention inside and outside its geographical borders... Futurism, the most violent trend of the avant-gardes of the early twentieth century was born in Italy with the rabid desire to create a new world, machining and bright away from classicism, classical art and the Academy, and based its manifesto on the literal "burning" of museums and cultural institutions in their own country and the glorification of war and violence as the only way for growth Art and society.
"A roaring car that seems to run on a trail of shrapnel is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace". With tremendous force Le Futurisme portrayed the environment of the Europe of the early twentieth century, an environment on political, philosophical, religious and scientific chances. According to futurists "the triumphant progress of science makes inevitable the profound changes in humanity".
Filippo Tomasso Marinetti, a poet born in Egypt and educated in Paris into an intellectual family, did not hesitate to choose the cover of Le Figaro, the most read newspaper in France , home of the Avant-Garde, to present his ideas. He knew that these Saturday 20 of February, 1909 would raise blisters.
"It is from Italy that we launch this new manifest to the world, because we want to free this country from its fetid gangrene of professors, archaeologists, and antiquarians. Too much time has been this country a place for secondhand-dealers. We want to liberate Italy from the innumerable museums that cover all around with cemeteries".
The exaltation of a renewed Italy impacted to young Italian artists like Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo,… who poured into large canvases their studies of motion, speed, industrial landscapes, smoking chimneys and locomotives, revolutionary masses, electrical cables and airplanes "whose propeller spreads flames in the wind like a flag and seems cheering over the enthusiastic mass" as says the manifesto.
Inevitably, an artistic and nationalist movement of these features drove itself at breakneck-speed toward politics and soon agreed with the thesis of the Fascists. Marinetti joined the Fascist Party in 1919 and showed loyalty to Mussolini until his dead. In one of his points, the Futurism Manifesto ensured "we glorify war, only hygiene of the world". And it was the war, the First World War, who ended the movement. Most of its members and supporters died faithful to his ideas or dissapeared into Europe during this chaotic time.
His main legacy, in addition to the excitement, was the representation of speed, to "bear with static media, the real movement", knowledge that defined, for example, the development of the comic.
Now, this movement lands in the Guggenheim Museum in New York with the strength of more than 360 works by 80 artists. “Italian Futurism (1909-1944). Reconstruction of the Universe” is probably the biggest exhibition about Futurism of all times.