Futurism: the inventors of Parole in Libertà and creators of dynamic, combative collages


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An artistic, literary and political movement with a radical, revolutionary spirit, Futurism was founded in 1909 in Italy by the poet, writer and activist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.

Fierce proponents of making a clean break with the past, tradition and all forms of classical art, the Futurists stand out for their unruly, almost overpowering vitalism, aggressive to the point of promoting the destruction of museums and libraries and of glorifying war as the “world’s only hygiene.”

Like other avant-garde movements at the time, the Futurists rejected conventional aesthetic canons, believing that a roaring automobile was more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.

Unbridled praise of progress, and the worship of technology and speed were the defining characteristics of this movement.

The fusion of collage and painting quickly began to gain ground even among the Futurists. This technique allowed artists to diversify the textural and material qualities of the canvas and to add typographic characters or entire portions of text to them (the text was mainly chosen for its content rather than appearance).

Futurist collages differ from those by Cubists or Dadaists thanks to their greater dynamism, with compositional acceleration that is at times centripetal and at others centrifugal.

In addition to those of painters like Boccioni, Carrà and Severini, some worthy compositions inspired by the collage technique are the Parole in Libertà (Liberated Words) of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. His most famous compositions are Irredentismo and Zang Tumb Tumb.

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