Futurism was founded by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti on the 20th of February, 1909.This would make it unique as it was solely a self-invented art movement. Futurism was an Italian avant-garde Art movement that took heavy inspiration from speed of new age technology, urban modernity and violence. The Futurists celebrate the triumph of technology over nature, which is direct opposition to the earlier artistic traditions of praising the beauty of nature.
The art movement appeared on the front page of Le Figaro, this was the largest circulation newspaper in France. It was the most modern and fastest way to communicate the ideas of the Futurists. Marinetti’s ideas drew the attention of Umberto Boccioni, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla and Carlo Carra who were artists that believed that they could translate Futurism into in a figurative modern art. Futurism was initially centered in Milan, but it spread quickly all over europe within numerous years. Marinetti was known for promoting the movement abroad on his travels. The Members of this newly found group sought to destroy all the older forms of culture, to demonstrate the beauty of the new mechanical modern life.
They wanted the general public to embrace the “beauty of the machine”, the machine being the world during the Industrial revolution.Futurists mainly focused on the traditional media such as Painting, Sculptures etc which was heavily inspired by the Post-Impressionism art movement. This meant that media such as Architecture did not see a big impact from the art movement until much later on. The Futurists focused on these traditional methods as they were the most popular media devices at that time therefore the most effective way of communicating their ideas. Their love for the Modern world or “machine” as they would call it drove them to celebrate the arrival of the First World War. By the end of the World War the group was still spent as an important avant-garde.
It carried right through until the 1920s, and during that time some of its members went on to embrace Fascism. This would make Futurism the only twentieth century avant-garde to have fallen into far right politics. Futurism did not have a very distinctive style, when compared with the likes of Impressionism and cubism. Instead it borrowed heavily from all the art movements that were popular at the time, most importantly Post Impressionism. Severini was typical in his interest in the art movement of Divisionism, mainly for his love for the process of breaking down light and colour into a cluster of lines and dots. The process also involved fracturing the canvas into segments to help achieve an enigmatic sense of depth. Futurist style paintings featured needle like brushstrokes and (usually) a very bold colour pallet.
The aim of the airists was to portray sensations as a “Synthesis of what one remembers and of what one sees” and to emphasise the edges around distinctive objects. The subjects and themes were focused on Mechanical Technologies or on War/Violence rather than the standard portraits or landscape scenes that were extremely common during that time. It wasn’t until the futurist art movement reached a high during the beginning of the first world war that it produced its own distinctive Futurist style. This style was produced from the influence from Cubism art movement.