Sunday, May 3, 2009


This afternoon we viewed an exhibition called Futurismo: Avanguardiavanguardie at the Scuderie del Quirinale, formerly the papal stables for the Quirinale Palace. (Photograhy was not allowed in the galleries, but several works in the show are on loan from MoMA in New York. These photos are ones I took at MoMA.)

The show celebrates the 100th year since the publication of the Futurist Manifesto of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti which launched Futurism as an art movement. In the manifesto Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing of everything old, especially political and artistic tradition. "We want no part of it, the past", he wrote, "we the young and strong Futurists!" The Futurists admired speed, technology, youth and violence, the car, the airplane and the industrial city, all that represented the technological triumph of humanity over nature, and they were passionate nationalists. The Futurists practiced in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, design, and literature.

Although not in the Rome exhibition, I have often admired this sculture and painting at MoMA by Futurist artist Umberto Boccioni.

The closing words of Marinetti's manifesto are:
Standing upright on the peak of the world
we once more hurl our challenge at the stars.

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