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        Let's Go Futurism

      • This word, sometimes used to mean any art more recent than 1900, has in fact a precise meaning. It was the only important modern movement before the New York School to be largely independent of Paris (for which reason it is not popular in France), and it can be dated from 20 February 1909 to its virtual demise in World War I (c..1915). It was actually born in Paris, in an article in Le Figaro by Marinetti, poet, dramatist, mountebank and future friend of Mussolini, in which he announced '. . . a new beauty ... a roaring motorcar, which runs like a machine-gun, is more beautiful than the Winged Victory of Samothrace . . . We wish to glorify war . . .' This general Manifesto was followed by a 'Manifesto of Futurist Painting' (1910) and a 'Technical Manifesto' (also 1910), which is the key to the aesthetics of Futurism. They wished to represent machines or figures actually in motion - 'We proclaim . . . that universal dynamism must be rendered as dynamic sensation; that movement and light destroy the substance of objects.'

        The 'Manifesto of Futurist Painting' was signed by Boccioni, Carra, Russolo, Balla and Severini; Boccioni also issued a Manifesto of his own, on sculpture, in 1912. In that year the Futurist Exhibition was held in Paris and caused great scandal; from Paris it went on to London and Berlin and eventually all over Europe, causing riots and general excitement. Nevertheless, Futurism as an aesthetic force died early in World War I and all the major Futurists who survived subsequently returned to a more traditional method of expressing their ideas.

      • Source: The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists (Penguin Reference Books)

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