Futurism As A Piece Of History

Art has been important in all pieces of history in some way or another. Many know of the Renaissance and other movements, or even of pieces such as the Greek sculptures. From Michelangelo to Leonardo da Vinci, many have paved the way for artists of the world to express themselves.

One of these movements was in Futurism. This took place between 1909 and ended in the late 192os in Italy when Filippo Tommaso Marinetti published the “Futurist Manifesto” on February 2oth, 1909. In this, he celebrated “the machine age” and the triumph of technology over nature.

This art movement centered on celebrating advancing technology and urban modernity. They did this by finding the beauty in new machines, change, speed, and violence Many of the artists of the period used traditional media in the uses of painting and sculpture. However, Futurist artists were not distinct with their style. These artists borrowed techniques from Post-Impressionism, Symbolism, Divisionism, and Cubism. Eclectic styles were motivated in this movement. In Italian Futurism, Gino Severini, one of the leading artists, worked in Divisionism. This included breaking down light and colour in stippled lines and dots to create depth in an image.

Umberto Boccioni’s painting -“The City Rises”- was highly Cubist influenced as well as being claimed to be the first Futurist painting because of this. French critics were divided in opinion; some expressed hostility, while others complimented the innovation. One image -“The Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting”- used fast paced animation in it, whereas a running horse appeared to have twenty legs rather than four. Futurists seen action as a mixture of time and space. Futurism also existed in music. This was noted by sounds created by machinery rather than traditional instruments of the past.

George Antheil is well known in this area by his piece which used humans and machines in synchronization in order to differentiate between the abilities of the two. Luigi Rossolo and Filippo Marinetti were the first to hold a Futurist concert in which the use of “intonarumori” -acoustic noise generators that allowed the artist to control the dynamics and pitch of several instruments- in 1914, however they were unable to perform soon after. This was the beginning of the decline in Futurism, when ltaly entered World War I. Many of the leading artists either joined and were killed in the war or immigrated to other countries.

Futurism continued to inspire artists in Europe, however its impact slowed and declined from where it had been at the beginning. Regardless, Futurism was used to inspire the styles of Art Deco. It may have been a short movement, but its influence moved forward into others.

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