Contemporary Italian Art
At the beginning of the 20th century, representatives of futurism developed a dynamic view of the modern world, while Giorgio de Chirico demonstrated a strange metaphysical calm, while Amedeo Modigliani joined the Paris school. Later gifted contemporary masters include sculptors Giacomo Manzu, Marino Marini, still life painter Giorgio Morandi and innovative painter Lucho Fontana. In the second half of the XX century, Italian designers, especially representatives of Milan, had a significant impact on international styles, thanks to their impressive and ingenious functional work.
“The street enters the house” Umberto Boccioni
Futurism was an Italian art movement that flourished from 1909 to 1916. He was the first of many directions that attempted to break with the past in all areas of life. Futurism glorified the power, speed and excitement that were characteristic of the age of machines. Drawing on the experience of French cubist artists, as well as thanks to photographs with multiple expositions, futurists learned to break realistic forms into several images and overlapping fragments of color. By such means they tried to depict the energy and speed of modern life. In literature, futurism demanded the abolition of traditional sentence structures and poetic forms.
Futurism was first mentioned on February 20, 1909, when the Paris newspaper Le Figaro published the manifesto of the Italian poet and editor Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Marinetti coined the word futurism to reflect his goal of abandoning the art of the past and chanting changes, originality and innovation in culture and society. The Marinetti Manifesto glorified the new technology of the car and the beauty of its speed, power and movement. Increasing violence and conflict, he called for a decisive rejection of traditional values and the destruction of cultural institutions, such as museums and libraries. The rhetoric of the manifesto was passionately pompous; his aggressive tone was intentionally intended to arouse public discontent and cause controversy.
The Marinetti Manifesto inspired a group of young artists in Milan to apply futuristic ideas in the visual arts. Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carra, Luigi Russolo, Giacomo Balla and Gino Severini published several manifestos on painting in 1910. Like Marinetti, they glorified originality and expressed their contempt for inherited artistic traditions.
Boccioni also became interested in sculpture, publishing a manifesto on this subject in the spring of 1912. He is believed to have most fully embodied his theories in two sculptures: “The development of a bottle in space” (1912), in which he presented both the internal and external contours of the bottle, and “Unique forms of continuity in space” (1913 .), in which the human figure is not depicted as a single continuous shape, but instead consists of several planes in the space through which this figure moves.
Futurism – “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space” by Umberto Boccioni
Futuristic principles also extended to architecture. Antonio Sant Elia formulated a futuristic manifesto on architecture in 1914. His conceptual drawings of highly mechanized cities and bold modern skyscrapers became the prototype of some of the most creative architectural projects of the 20th century.
Boccioni, who was the most talented artist in this group, and Sant Elia both died during military service in 1916. Boccioni’s death, combined with the expansion of the group and the sobering realities of the destruction caused by the First World War, put an end to the futuristic trend as an important historical event in the visual arts.
Metaphysical painting is a trend in Italian art that originated in 1917 thanks to the work of Carlo Carra and Giorgio de Chirico in Ferrara. The word “metaphysical”, chosen by De Chirico himself, is the basis of the poetics of this direction.
They depicted fairy-tale images, their figures and objects, it seems, froze in time. Artists of a metaphysical direction accept the view of the visible world in a traditional perspective space, but with an unusual arrangement of people in the form of mannequin-like models, objects in strange, illogical situations, unreal lights and colors, with unnatural stillness of static figures.
Novecento is a group of Italian artists, formed in 1922 in Milan, they advocated a return to the great Italian fine art of the past.
The founders of the Novecento movement (Italian: “XX Century”) were critic Margarita Sarfati and seven artists: Anselmo Bucci, Leonardo Dudreville, Achillo Funi, Gian Emilio Malerba, Pietro Marussig, Ubaldo Oppi and Mario Sironi. Under the leadership of Sarfatti, this group sought to revive Italian art, rejecting European avant-garde trends and adopting the artistic traditions of Italy.