Friday, April 07, 2006


Dinamismo di un automobile - Luigi Russolo, 1911

"We affirm that the world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing car whose hood is adorned with great pipes, like serpents of explosive breath—a roaring car that seems to ride on grapeshot is more beautiful than the 'Victory of Samothrace'."

Extract from the "Manifesto of Futurism", Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.
Published in Le Figaro, Paris, 20th of February, 1909.

A few years before the First World War bursted, a group of Italian artists, led by writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, founded one of the most important artistic movements of Europe's early XXth century avant-gardes: Futurism.

Celebrating speed and violence, throwing away the past in a strong rupture with Italy's conservatisms, Futurism had the ambition of spreading across all disciplines: writing, painting, sculpture, architecture, music, fashion and obviously embracing recently born cinema as a key art form.

Again the typically Italian dialectic between conservatism and modernity, pushed to violent extremes.
Again the aesthetisation of violence, elevated to an art form.
Of course no obvious links with Giallo, but a similar 'engine' born out of Italian society's tensions and contradictions, which produced many great artistic movements across the last century in this country.

Futurism and other Italian avant-gardes between 1900 and 1950 are explored in the "Italia Nova" exhibition held at Le Grand Palais in Paris, starting April the 5th.
A great web resource on Futurism:
The Estorick Collection, in London, is also a small yet great museum dedicated to Italian modern art, which has very interesting exhibitions (read a previous post from this blog here).

1 comment:

Sylvain L. said...

Comment posted on 30.4.06
Clown Puncher said...

"This is an excellent essay. You write so beautifully. I am in awe of your blog.
This might be of interest to you and your readers:
[link removed by Killing in Style]"


Thanks for your kind comment.
However I had to remove the link you mentioned as it is related to current political discussions which this blog should not be linked with.

Killing in Style's sole purpose is to talk about art. In this particular post Futurism is considered only through its contribution to early 20th century avant-garde.
Marinetti's later controversial relationships with Italian politics is a separate topic which this blog has nothing to do with and is not meant to get into.

Sorry for this and thanks in advance for your understanding.