Month: August 2014

The Past World of Italian Futurism

Visiting the Italian Futurism 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe exhibit at the Guggenheim was a very different experience for me then attending, say, a retrospective or a gallery show. It is not unusual for exhibits that have works from specific eras to seem like a history lesson, but in the case of this exhibit, the amount of information was overwhelming. I would say it would take a while to summarize the many plaques detailing the politics and themes and theories of the Italian Futurists, but to keep it minimal, the show focuses on how before, during, and after World War I, Italian artists struggled to convey their ideologies and manifestos through art. The exhibition opens by giving you a sense of what all of these theories and beliefs are; to tell you the truth, I didn’t find the whole thing too original as it read like the Humanism section of a European history textbook; conversations about the need to glorify man, etc. date back all the way to the Greeks, much less to the Renaissance, after all. Much of the beginning part of the show consisted of pamphlets and advertisements and prints, mostly in Italian, that I found distracting from the artwork itself. The fascinating element of Italian Futurism was primarily being able to looking at the evolution of this style of painting overtime.  (more…)