Futurism was born in Italy as an avant-garde art movement. It revolutionised the Italian art scene with literature, music, fine arts and architecture. The movement was founded by the writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876 – 1944) who dictated and published the first Futurist Manifesto in 1909. In the visual arts, many Italian painters followed this Marinetti Manifesto. Among them were Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carra, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla, Aroldo Bonzagni and Luigio Russolo as famous painters, Antonio Sant´ Ella as architect and Francesco Balilla Pratella as musician of the Italian art scene.

Although Futurism triggered an important art revolution mainly in Italy, it also influenced the development of art in other European countries. In Russia, Futurism developed its own style and was particularly effective in the field of literature. In Germany, Futurism established itself especially in Berlin. The best-known German futurist was Alfred Döblin, who devoted himself mainly to montage techniques.

The Battle of the Futurists

The term futurism comes from the Italian word “futuro” (future), from Latin futurum (future). The Futurists break with everything they perceive as outdated and traditional. They tried to create a new “real” art, as they called it, that would meet the demands of modern mechanized life.

According to the Futurists, “art” should correspond to real life rather than reflect the past. Imitation of the past, whether as theme or motif, should be avoided as it does not adequately reflect one’s own originality and time.

Futurism rejects the old ideals of beauty and seeks “its” ideals of beauty in speed and dynamism. This reflects the technical development and the increasingly technical awareness of contemporary society, to which the new technical achievements correspond. In 1910, the painter Umberto Boccioni published his Manifesto of Futurist Painting, which he wrote together with several other artists. In it he called on other young artists to rebel against the historical ideals of art and to fight for new artistic ideals.

The Love of the Futurists

In the same year, 1910, after Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the second manifesto of the visual arts was announced. In this more technical manifesto of futuristic painting, the technique of painting and the motif are described in more detail. The traditional motifs such as landscapes, historical representations and portraits are rejected and instead of these, light and movement are now at the centre. The speed of the big city, traffic, mass society and machines in many ways are now the theme. Cars, planes and trains are typical motifs of futurism.

For the Futurists, the experience of the artist and the portrayed are just as important as the image of the depicted situation. What distinguishes futuristic images from works of other art styles are pure representations of movementabl&¨ufen. Events are captured in the picture by depicting motion sequences. Forms and lines flow into each other and light is experimented with to represent continuity. For this, techniques from cubism and divisionism (a split of pointillism/early impressionism) are used.

Futuristic art is expressed in paintings, collages, posters, manifestos, poems and the still young medium of film.