futurism, Italian school of painting, sculpture, and literature that flourished from 1909, when Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's first manifesto of futurism appeared, until the end of World War I. Carlo Carrà, Gino Severini, and Giacomo Balla were the leading painters and Umberto Boccioni the chief sculptor of the group. The architect Antonio Sant' Elia also belonged to this school. The futurists strove to portray the dynamic character of 20th-century life; their works glorified danger, war, and the machine age, attacked academies, museums, and other establishment bastions, and, in theory at least, favored the growth of Italian fascism. The group had a major Paris exhibition in 1912 that showed the relationship of their work to cubism. Their approach to the rendering of movement by simultaneously representing several aspects of forms in motion influenced many painters, including Duchamp and Delaunay. Futurist principles and techniques strongly influenced Russian constructivism.

See studies by M. W. Martin (1968), J. Rye (1972), U. Apollino (1973), C. Tisdale and A. Bozollo (1985), and M. Perloff (1989); V. Greene, ed., Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe (museum catalog, 2014).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Futurism: Selected full-text books and articles

Joshua C. Taylor.
The Museum of Modern Art, 1961
Italian Futurist Theatre, 1909-1944
Günter Handler Berghaus.
Clarendon Press, 1998
Futurism and Politics: Between Anarchist Rebellion and Fascist Reaction, 1909-1944
Günter Berghaus.
Berghahn Books, 1996
Modern Italian Painting: From Futurism to the Present Day
Guido Ballo.
Frederick A. Praeger, 1958
Action Art: A Bibliography of Artists' Performance from Futurism to Fluxus and Beyond
John Gray.
Greenwood Press, 1993
Futurism and Fascism
Jensen, Richard.
History Today, Vol. 45, No. 11, November 1995
Theory and Design in the First Machine Age
Reyner Banham.
Architectural Press, 1960
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Futurism: The Foundation Manifesto"
The Art of Assemblage
William C. Seitz.
Museum of Modern Art, 1961
Librarian’s tip: "Filippo Tommaso Marinetti" begins on p. 16 and "Futurism" begins on p. 25
The Avant-Garde Tradition in Literature
Richard Kostelanetz.
Prometheus Books, 1982
Librarian’s tip: "Italian Futurism" begins on p. 142 and "Russian Futurism and Its Theoreticians" begins on p. 168
The Great Experiment: Russian Art, 1863-1922
Camilla Gray.
Harry N. Abrams, 1962
Boccioni: A Retrospective
Danto, Arthur Coleman.
The Nation, Vol. 247, No. 13, November 7, 1988
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