Futurism was an early 20th century art movement, emerging around 1910, centered in Italy. The movement also crept into Russia and England during its lifetime. The Futurist movement celebrated the leaps of power and capability that became possible with the machine age. The Futurists enthusiastically embraced the youth, vitality and dynamism of the era. Futurism encompassed a breadth of art forms, from industrial design to painting and sculpture to graphics to interior design to fashion.
Futurism was begun with a desire to give visual expression to the movement and energy of mechanical processes. The term Futurism is thought to have been conceived by Italian writer, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, in a piece published in the Parisian paper, Le Figaro, on February 20, 1909. His manifesto rallied his audience to cast away the stagnant, unchanging artistic forms from the past, perceived as no longer germane to an era defined by glorious innovation and change that was revolutionizing society and culture at that time. Futurists hailed the arrival of the automobile and aeroplane and it's mechanistic beauty, as well as what these inventions could potentially do for society. They simultaneously rejected museums and libraries, seen as bastions of the old, outdated, and irrelevant. "We want no part of it, the past, we the young and strong Futurists!" declared Marinetti in his Futurist Manifesto.
The Futurist movement was further defined by elevation of inflammatory methods, not barring violence, physically aggressive, and destructive acts, to stimulate public attention and bring about the complete revolution they proposed. The movement expresses admiration for the triumph of man-made technology over nature. Umberto Boccioni, a prominent figure in the Futurist movement, wrote the Manifesto of Futurist Painters in 1910. "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," he declared. "We rebel against that spineless worship 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."
In the latter part of the movement, through the 20's and 30s, while Italy was still quite divided between a rapidly industrializing north and rural, agricultural south, quite a number of the Italian Futurists were ideological supporters of the rise of fascism in their cries to modernize society and economy.(read less)
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