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Origin and definition of futurism

Origin and definition of abstract, modern and contemporary art: cubism, futurism, surrealism, constructivism, minimalism

Futurism: An artistic explosion of speed, modernity and dynamism

Futurism is an artistic movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It was founded by the poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in 1909 and quickly gained popularity as a revolutionary movement that sought to embrace modernity, speed and technology. Futurism had a significant influence on the art, literature, music, architecture and design of the time.

Origins and characteristics of Futurism

Futurism was a radical rejection of established artistic traditions and a celebration of emerging modern civilization. Futurist artists were fascinated by the machines, speed, industry, war and new technologies of the time. They sought to capture the energy and dynamics of the modern age in their work.

A key feature of Futurism was a fascination with speed and movement. Artists sought to represent speed using dynamic lines, geometric shapes and fragmentation effects. They wanted to create a sensation of movement and visual explosion on canvas.

Futurism was also strongly linked to the idea of violence and war. Futurist artists glorified war as the ultimate manifestation of virility, courage and technological power. They often depicted battle scenes, moving soldiers and war machines in their works.

Emblematic artists and works

Many artists were associated with the Futurist movement and contributed to its development and expansion. Here are just some of the emblematic artists of Futurism:

    1. Umberto Boccioni – Boccioni was one of the leading Futurist artists and a key theoretician of the movement. His work « Unique Forms of Continuity in Space » (1913) is considered one of the icons of Futurism, depicting an athlete in motion and expressing the dynamism of the modern age.

    2. Giacomo Balla – Balla was known for his depictions of speed and movement in his works. His painting « Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash » (1912) illustrates the fragmentation and multiplication of forms to create a sensation of frenetic movement.

    3. Luigi Russolo – Russolo was a Futurist musician and artist. He is best known for his manifesto « The Art of Noises » (1913), in which he explored the musical possibilities of the industrial and urban sounds of the time.

    4. Gino Severini – Severini developed a distinct Futurist style by combining Cubism and Futurism. His « Dynamic Hieroglyphic of the Bal Tabarin » (1912) is a notable example of his use of dynamic lines, geometric shapes and vivid colors to capture the movement and energy of dance scenes and urban entertainment.

    5. Antonio Sant’Elia – As a Futurist architect, Sant’Elia designed ambitious projects for dynamic modernist architecture. His visionary architectural designs, such as « La Città Nuova » (1914), anticipated futuristic urban developments and influenced modern architecture.

These artists all played an essential role in the evolution and expansion of the Futurist movement, contributing their innovative ideas and vision of modernity through their works of art.

Discover futuristic artists

To find out more about Futurism and discover more about emblematic artists and works, here are a few links to relevant resources:

• Umberto Boccioni : Umberto Boccioni page on Tate

• Giacomo Balla : Giacomo Balla page on MoMA

• Luigi Russolo : Luigi Russolo page on Centre Pompidou

• Gino Severini : Gino Severini page on Guggenheim

• Antonio Sant’Elia : Antonio Sant’Elia page on Wikipedia

These links will allow you to further explore the works and contributions of these futurist artists. Dive into the captivating world of Futurism and discover how they captured the energy, speed and modernity of their time through innovative paintings, sculptures, manifestos and architectural projects.

Futurism left a lasting imprint on art history and continues to influence contemporary artists to this day. As you explore the works and ideas of Futurist artists, you’ll be immersed in a world of bold artistic experimentation and visionaries in search of a vibrant, ever-changing future.

Original abstract paintings by Patrick Cristallini

Painter and photographer
from Lyon

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Lyon / France