Futurism

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Futurism, early 20th-century movement in art that pointedly rejected all traditions and attempted instead to glorify contemporary life, mainly by emphasizing its two dominant themes, the machine and motion. The principles of futurism were originated by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and published by him in a manifesto in 1909. The following year the Italian artists Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo, and Gino Severini signed the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting.

Futurism was characterized by the attempted depiction of several successive actions of positions of a subject at the same time. The result resembled somewhat a stroboscopic photograph or a high-speed series of photographs printed on a single plate. Interesting examples are Severini's Dynamic Hieroglyphic of the Bal Tabarin (1912, Museum of Modern Art, New York City) and his Armored Train (1915, Collection Richard S. Zeisler, New York City).

Although futurism was short-lived, lasting only until about 1914, its influence can be seen in the works of the painters Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, and Robert Delaunay in Paris and the constructivists in Russia. The futurist worship of the machine survived as a fundamental part of Fascist doctrine.

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