European avant-gardes 1900-1939

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European avant
gardes 1900

vendredi 15 février 2008



would see it as the genre best suited to conveying the question of the representation of
space in painting. With his revolutionary
Still Life with Chair Caning
, as early as 1912

brought into the picture a piece of oilcloth for the caning and a rope to give material presence to the
oval of the chair's frame. Components lifted from reality therefore sometimes replace
representation and they enter into dialogue with the pai
nted parts. The object, or rather fragments
of real objects, invade the representation.

But the radical gesture was
's, transforming the manufactured everyday object into a work
of art by means of nothing more than the artist's declaration that it w
as one. The first ready
date from 1913. Since that time, the object has left the picture frame and invaded the real world,
presenting itself as such on the stage of art. It would later be deployed in the most unlikely
appropriations and assemblages b
y the
, in the "accumulations", "compressions" and
various "traps" of the
New Realists
, in the installations of current
new objective sculpture
, and by
way of American
Pop Art
's simultaneous celebration and critique, which took the consumer soci
and its objects as the main subject of its art. The object addresses 20th
century art, its status and its
boundaries, pushing them further and further.

What this dossier proposes is a perusal of the National Museum of Modern Art's collections
through o
ne of the main artistic events of the last century: "the affirmation of the object".

Pablo Picasso (1881

If 19th

had been obsessed with the "reality of vision",

did not aspire to
real vision, but to the artis
t's mental experience of the world. Thus a new "writing of the real"
(Kahnweiler) was developed, put into practice by Braque and Picasso first in the so
phase which is dominated by a "reality of conception", to which the representation of

the world

On the basis of the

papier collés

paper pictures) invented by Braque in the autumn of 1912
and continued by Picasso, another phase of Cubism began, the

phase, characterised by a
return to reality and another mode of ex
pressing the real. There is a dialogue between the drawn
framework and the cut
outs from newspapers selected for their plastic or semantic aspects. The
object is conveyed through the breaking up of fragments derived from reality and in an interplay
with le
tters and drawings. Picasso then invented a language of signs recapitulating the object, hence
the term Synthetic. He would increasingly insist upon the ambiguity of the representation, the
l'oeil effect, by alternating three different techniques: p
ainting, sculpture and collage.


From Duchamp to the Surrealists

With his
Still Life with Chair Caning

(1912), Picasso had already made great advances in the
process of desacralising the work of art through the insertion o
f components taken straight from
reality into the painting. The use of collage emphasised this challenge to the canonical
representation. The raw materials of reality broke into the representation, but these intrusions
formed a dialogue with the painted or

drawn parts of the work and the Cubists used them for
plastic purposes. Marcel Duchamp went a step further in desacralising the work of art. This
desacralisation and its implicit relation to the object was to be redeployed in a new drama of the
object, th
e Surrealist object, on the search for the dream's irruption into reality.

Marcel Duchamp (1887

The Ready

In 1913, Marcel Duchamp exhibited a "sculpture" titled
Bicycle Wheel
. Two everyday objects were
attached and stuck together by th
e artist: a bicycle wheel and a stool. Nothing here was the
handiwork of the artist, who produced a three
dimensional collage by assembling two ordinary

Duchamp had been a painter to begin with and rebelled against painters, whom he called
tine addicts", and against "the retinal stupidity" connected with this art. He pronounced
himself closer to the style of
, and defined painting as a
mental thing
. His
Nude Descending
a Staircase

caused a sensation in New York and made him famous. G
oing beyond the nude, with it
he sought a method of reducing movement in space.


Rack), 1914 (1964)

(Séchoir à bouteilles ou Hérisson, Bottle
Drier or Hedgehog)

Rack in galvanised iron

64.2 x 42 cm (diam.)

In 1914, with his famous
, bought at a department store, the Bazar de l'Hôtel de
ville, Ducha
mp elaborated the concept of the
made: "an ordinary object elevated to the
dignity of the work of art by the mere decision of the artist"

Dictionnaire abrégé du Surréalisme
André Breton, 1938).

The hand of the artist no longer intervenes in the wor
k. All skill and all aesthetic pleasure connected
with the perception of the work are made void. The creator's traces have disappeared and been
reduced to the mere choosing and titling of the object. The title which from the outset names the
object most ba

Rack), will assume increasing importance; later the
object would be rechristened
Séchoir à bouteilles ou Hérisson

Drier or Hedgehog).

Yet the choice of this object was not an insignificant one. Glasses and bottles had

invaded Cubist
painting, from which Duchamp wished to escape since it was, in his words, like a "straitjacket".
Analytical Cubism's bottles and glasses broken down into countless transparent facets were
succeeded by the real object, opaque and made of iro
n, welcoming them with the prickliness of a


(Fountain), 1917/1964

Upturned urinal, porcelain

63 x 48 x 35 cm

In 1915 Duchamp left for the United States. Continuing with his ready
mades, he added inscriptions
to them, like the one
on a snow shovel:
In Advance of a Broken Arm
. It is only verbal logic that,
through humour or puns, transforms the ordinary object into something else: a precipitation of the
likely future. Duchamp was to lay increasing stress on this
verbal dimension

h, by insinuation,
involved the mind of the viewer in the perception of the work. The delectation of the eye was
succeeded by that of the mind.

His best
known ready
made, the famous upturned urinal rechristened
, dates from 1917.
When it was submit
ted for exhibition at the Society of Independent Artists, in New York, under the
pseudonym R.Mutt, the jury to which he himself belonged rejected it, and the epic success of the
mades got under way with this scandal.

The original ready
mades have dis
appeared and replicas remain which, as Duchamp put it, "convey
the same message as the original". In his view,
aesthetic criteria alone are not enough to define
what art is and what it is not
, and it will be the artist who calls into question the limits of

art by
pushing them further and further. The disappearance of the utility of the object proclaimed by its
installation in a museum environment, and the new meaning conferred upon it by its title, would
henceforth suffice to qualify as a work of art what h
ad not been so a priori.

Duchamp's radical and innovative approach laid the foundation for a great many interrogations of
the status of art in the twentieth century, and for a breakthrough of the object into the domain of
the plastic arts.

Surrealism and

the Strangeness of the Object

In the view of André Breton: "Ready
mades and assisted ready
mades, objects chosen or composed
by Marcel Duchamp from 1914, are the first surrealist objects". Where the
Dadaist spirit
of revolt
and provocation had seen D
uchamp as one of its most representative figures, the Surrealists too
acknowledged his paternity in terms of how they saw the object.

In fidelity to the principle of their aesthetic, which is illustrated by Lautréamont's words: "Beautiful
as the fortuitous

meeting of an umbrella and a sewing
machine on a dissection table", the surrealist
object is the fruit of
combining the most unlikely objects that have issued from the encounter of
two different realities

on an inappropriate level. The sought
after effect

is always surprise,
astonishment, the sense of strangeness like that provoked by the irruption of a dream into reality.
The association of objects made in the name of the free association of words or ideas which,
according to Freud, dominate unconscious a
ctivity and dream activity in particular.

Since the Surrealists were particularly interested in the object, the
Dictionnaire abrégé du

offers a panoply of artistic objects:
real and virtual objects, the mobile and the mute
object, the oneiric
, the phantom object, etc. What unites these different declensions of the
object is their unconscious and symbolic charge, the appeal to a surreality which the Surrealists
found more real than the real itself.

Man Ray (1890

A painter and phot
ographer, Man Ray literally illustrated Lautréamont's clarion words from the
Chants de Maldoror


"Beautiful as the fortuitous meeting of an umbrella and a sewing
machine on a
dissection table"


by photographing the coming together of these objects. Man R
ay was a
protagonist of the Dada movement, and his strange objects mark the shift in Dada's cherished
aesthetic of revolt against fine painting towards the poetic of the strange, the fantastic and the
dream, which is
's, to be made official by Br
eton in 1924 with his
Surrealist Manifesto

Objet à détruire

(Object for Destruction), 1923

Metronome and collage

23.5 x 11.5 cm

avant la lettre
, the metronome that has ceased to mark time is one of Man Ray's

(impeded object
s). Similarly as with

(Gift) (1921), an iron to whose base he had
affixed 14 nails which made it impossible to use, here the metronome is made silent and motionless,
and set off with the incongruous addition of an eye and a label which subvert the o
riginal object and
lead towards other spaces suggesting the overdetermined meanings of dream images.

Alberto Giacometti (1901


(The Table), 1933


148.5 x 103 x 43 cm

Conceived as a piece of furniture, this sculpture, whose princi
ple resides in the strange association
of objects, exerts a
subtle sense of troubling strangeness

upon the viewer. The partly veiled head of
a woman and her veil extended into the void suggest by metonymy a body absent from the scene of
the representation
but potentially part of the table. The strange polyhedron, balanced unstably on
the edge of the table, in contrast with the figurative elements of the sculpture, adds to the mystery
of the composition. Here we can discern a quality of expectation and dread

Joan Miró (1893

L’objet du couchant

(Sleeping Object), 1935

Painted carob tree trunk with metal components,

64 x 44 x 26 cm

On a carob tree trunk painted red, Miró hung pieces of scrap iron found by chance on his walks.
These attracted hi
m by some irresistible magnetic force. A metal spring, a chain and a gas burner
were meant to represent a bridal couple. When it was made this object was presumed to be a joke,
except by Breton, who was gripped by its
magical quality

and to whom the object

was given.

Victor Brauner (1902


Table), 1939

Wood and parts of stuffed fox

54 x 57 x 28.50 cm

The table, whose connection with meals and life
giving nourishment makes it the most familiar and
reassuring of objects,
turned into its opposite

by metamorphosis into an aggressive and
devouring animal. The word


(wolf), contained in the title, conjures childhood tales and
fantasies of being swallowed up and eaten. However, there is a further unsettling of our vantage
oint in the fact that what this peculiar assemblage shows us is a fox.

Max Ernst (1891

Loplop présente une jeune fille (Loplop introduces a young girl), 1930, 1936, 1966

Oil on wood, plaster and collage of objects

194 x 89 x 10 cm


objects are not only presented as such by association with other objects. They can also
invade the two
dimensional space of the painting, as in this picture synthesising his work, which
Ernst returned to twice after long intervals.

The artist is identifie
d with Loplop, the bird at the top, who presents his painting

in an effect of
distancing which is disturbing both visually and mentally
. Max Ernst had already produced pictures
in relief, but here it is painting itself which is called into question by the
derisory quotation of the
picture within the picture.

The painting presented by Loplop is only a simulacrum of painting as emphasised by the painted
frame. Inside it is a rough surface, like the rest of the panel, in which real objects replace painted
cts. This is a crazy challenge to pictorial
, to illusionism as a whole and to the work of
the painter, who is resolutely placed beyond the painting. Objects

a metal wheel, a stone in a net
and a horse's mane


impose their reality as objects with
out the ambiguity of being decorative. They
belong to the thematic repertoire of the artist, who thereby declares his creative output to be in the
realm of distanciation.


American Pop Art and New Realism

In the United States as

well as in Europe, the 1960s opened in the realm of the object. What the
pop artists proposed was a return to the real, a reality that they identified with the consumer
society, mainly employing its media images simultaneously to decry it and proclaim it.

For the
New Realists, who defined their art as a "new perceptual approach to reality", the object became
a fully
fledged protagonist in their means of expression.

American Pop Art

The object as a commodity promoted by the consumer society became es
tablished in the 1960s
with its language of advertising and its mass media. Already in the late 1950s, artists such as Robert
Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns had reacted against the final gasps of
Abstract Expressionism
finding sources of inspiration in the

academic spirit of

and in the figure of Duchamp.
These artists advocated a return to the real
, and while Rauschenberg was integrating all kinds of
hand objects (newspapers, stools, beds, Coca
Cola bottles, etc) into his vast
, Johns was making paintings of the American flag or of shooting targets, these being literal
paintings of the object in question.

In the way opened up by these two pioneers, artists such as Claes Oldenburg and Jim Dine in
sculpture, and Andy Warhol an
d Roy Lichtenstein in painting, turned resolutely towards the
discredited world of commodities

(hamburgers, detergent boxes, Coca
Cola bottles) and new forms
popular culture
: advertising, comic strips, film stars and famous politicians, with a vigour th
at was
simultaneously enthusiastic and critical.

Despite the elevation of such objects and images to the status of works of art, it was generally the
perverse workings of the consumer society that were revealed by these artists,
with humour, irony
and unea
. Warhol's Campbell's tomato juice packing cases are fake ready
mades, for they were
created by the artist, who had the advertising graphics printed on the crates. In the image of market
logic, these objects deceive the eye and the mind.

With the America
n pop artists
the object was seldom presented as such
. It was reproduced as
l'oeil or in some grotesque form through enlargements altering its meaning, by emphasising
the screenprint, sometimes seeming more real than reality itself, to the point of
unreality and

Claes Oldenburg (1929)

His version of Pop Art, which is to say art aiming to be within reach of a mass audience, consists in
imitating everyday objects
connected to the world of food or clothing: commodities that are bought
at stre
et stalls or in downmarket shops. Oldenburg's replicas of these objects are enlarged, exposing
the materials of which they are made and exaggerating their colours. Giant lollipops, hamburgers,
caps and jackets produced in plaster and coarsely painted

ps and all

intrude upon the space
around them, blighting it with bad taste.

Pink Cap
, 1961

Enamel paint on plastered muslin

86 x 97 x 21 cm

Pink Cap

was shown as part of a group show together with other objects relating to clothing in New
York in
1961. It would subsequently be one of the objects in Oldenburg's shop,
The Store
, opened by
the artist at his studio in ironic imitation of places where such commodities are sold. The spectator
buyer can then, without any mystery, enter the space of produc
tion of the work, made by
an artist
craftsman working at the very point of sale

The targets here are the art gallery circuit and museum valuation. There is something troubling
about these objects which can no longer be held and handled since they spread
out in space. This is
the familiar being revealed as strange, assuming vast and enveloping proportions.

Andy Warhol (1930

Warhol started out as a commercial artist and he is the most representative figure of Pop Art. Both
his personality and his wo
rk have been a source of fascination. Although he seems the most
impersonal and most distant of the pop artists, his work plays upon ambiguity.

It was the image of
the object that Warhol tackled.

By infinitely reproducing advertising and mass media images
through the process of silkscreen
printing, Warhol took away their substance, casting it into the hectic domain of the multiple and the
banal, yet elevated to the status of a work of art. "I want to be a machine", he declared, legitimising
his mechanical p
rocess of reproducing the image, the echo of a soulless society which his work
represented and implicitly criticised. He made himself the representative of a capitalist society at its
peak which was nonetheless troubled by the image of
. Road accident
s and electric chairs are
the other side of his art.

Electric Chair
, 1967

Acrylic and lac
quer applied to screen printing on canvas

137 x 185 cm

Warhol subjected the most varied of subjects to the same treatment assumed from a great distance.
Drawing always from the mass media repertoire, through the process of the mediatised image
which interp
oses itself between the viewer and reality, he showed the impossibility of reaching the
thing itself. Hence the absence of any affect in his works, which denounce the numbing of the
modern individual's reality by the society of the spectacle and the commod
ification of the world.

Thus, the electric chair which, with the Coca
Cola bottle, is one of the symbols of America, is
presented in terms of a cold and dehumanised image. This work belongs to the
Disaster Series

(1963). The same violent subject is shown i
n different colours and, with this aspect of death, it
presents the other extreme of his art, in opposition to smiling faces.

Here the object is replaced by the serial image, its repetition cold and numbing.

The New Realists

On 27 October 1960, at t
he Paris home of Yves Klein, in Rue Campagne Première, the official birth of
New Realism took place, bringing together the following artists: Arman, François Dufrêne, Raymond
Hains, Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Jacques Mahé de la Villeglé, J
ean Tinguely. Their
names would be joined by that of the critic who was to be their spokesperson: Pierre Restany. Their
declaration amounted to two sentences and announced their programme: "On Thursday 27 October
the New Realists became aware of their coll
ective singularity.
New Realism = a new perceptual
approach to reality

To these first names would later be added those of César, Gérard Deschamps, Mimmo Rotella and
Niki de Saint Phalle. The following year, in a text titled
40° au
dessus de Dada
(40° abo
ve Dada),
Restany situated this movement in a line from Dada and Duchamp.

While demonstrating very different approaches, these artists had a shared interest in the imagery of
mass culture and from it they appropriated objects. Raysse went so far as to say:

"Prisunic stores are
the museums of modern art". But the expression "new perceptual approach to reality" distinguished
them from Pop Art and allowed each artist a great deal of freedom. The object as such became a full
protagonist in this art which consis
ted in its appropriation.

While Arman "accumulated" his objects in terms of a quantitative logic which obliterated their
singularity, Cesar made a fetish object of cars as sheet metal, "compressing" them to end up with
huge parallelepipeds which sat on the

ground like polychrome sculptures. Spoerri's "trap
captured moments of reality by taking the leftovers of a meal which he placed with their dish on the
vertical. Raysse developed assemblages in which the anonymous and stereotyped photographic
ages of women played with the real object in an actual "objective poetry", while Tinguely's absurd
and complex machinery, aggregating noisy mechanical objects, set in motion infernal and
incoherent mechanisms in the image of our contemporary world.

n (1928)

To begin with Arman was an abstract painter, although he has always claimed that his art was a
development of painting. He abandoned this practice when he introduced everyday objects into his
work. His output is characterised by
an ever
changing r
elationship to the object
. Accumulated willy
nilly, or as refuse (the

series begun in 1959), broken up in the

series, burned in the
, becoming detached from a surface such as that of the painting which he called into
question, or
assembled into huge sculptures, objects mark his work.

Home Sweet Home
, 1960

of gas masks in a box closed with Plexiglas

160 x 140.5 x 20 cm

In this work, Arman accumulates old objects that are identical, fixes them onto a two
support and sets them in a box closed by a pane of glass, with the same meticulousness as an
ntomologist collecting butterflies. But these are not insects. These are not commonplace objects.
They are gas masks, arranged differently according to each of the three versions that the artist will
give to the work.

The principle is that of
the infinite
profusion of the same
, of the repetition that is apt to spill out of
the frame and suggest a sense of all
pervasiveness. The title, intimating the sweet domestic cosiness
of the collector engaged in his passionate hobby at home, is in tragically ironic con
trast to an object
with strong connotations: gas masks, now generally linked in our consciousness to the horror of the
Nazi extermination camps. This object, symptomatic of the 20thcentury, is thoroughly restored to its
macabre aspect by its accumulation a
nd enclosure in a literal context, the

, where


Martial Raysse (1936)

Martial Raysse often appears as the most prestigious representative of New Realism, to which he
belonged in the 1960s. In 1970 the artist was to call into q
uestion the ideology of the 1960s rupture
with a subtle return to traditional painting, in pastiche form, and by invoking a mysterious and
resolutely singular world of mythological references.

Soudain l’été dernier

(Suddenly Last Summer), 1963

panel assemblage: photograph painted in acrylic and objects

100 x 225 cm

Out of this "picture with
variable geometry", operating on discrepant planes and balancing finely
between the three registers of photography, painting and sculpture, the real object

erupts into the viewer's own space. A straw hat and a towel protrude beyond the painted s
urface, in
a moment of intrusion which recalls that of the title taken from Tennessee Williams.
also like the photographic shutter release which has caught the pose of the young woman on the
beach, an anonymous and stereotyped figure from consu
mer images for sunscreen products or
seaside holidays. But on this enlarged photographic image, the painting and the retouching disclose
areas which seem to belong to traditional painting: the trompe
l'oeil of the arm, the green shadings
on the young woman
's legs, the white of the painted sheet.

While celebrating a form of mass imagery, Martial Raysse transcends it with the abrupt irruption of
poetry into the here and now of the perception of the work, which does not remain fixed. The
photographic model com
es out of the frame of the painting, and the real object comes out of the
frame of the representation to disturb our perception. Time too seems to be unhinged and suggest
several different temporalities simultaneously
: the actuality of the photograph as a
technique of representation joins with the past tense of the pose, "last summer"; the references to
traditional painting are answered by the time
disjunction of something breaking in, and the
"suddenly" whose meaning here is overdetermined, by the s
hutter release, by the impression of the
image and the perception of the work.


Personal Mythologies

Concealed, painted, freighted with particular psychic resonances, the object was also to be
isolated and staged. In these cases, b
rought into the foreground, the object became a part of the
milieu that received it and exhibited it: the museum or the art gallery. Increasingly the work of art
is the expression of isolated contemporary projects which have their basis in a personal
logy for which the artist alone has the key to interpretation.

Jean Michel Sanejouand made his first

weights) in 1963, works deriving from
his anti
paintings. The object is in opposition to painting and presides alone in space. Made
up of
real objects incongruously assembled with other fragments of objects, these

assembled in such a way that their meaning disappears along with their former use. They aspire to a
banality without any signification other than their bei
ng there, their problematic presence, their
sense. All the same, there is an ironic aspect that comes through in these objects weighted with

For Joseph Beuys, who was close to the

group, the objects he exhibited (such as
Fat Chair
, or

Infiltration Homogen for Grand Piano
, 1966) are pieces taken from performances he did,
where the disguised object took up the whole of the stage. In the late 1960s, Jean
Pierre Raynaud
invented his
, while in the 1980s Bertrand Lavier sho
wed his "fridges" and his painted
office furniture.

Joseph Beuys (1921

Beuys expanded the idea of art to
reality as a whole
. His ritual actions aimed to release the plurality
of the senses. Art would have a
therapeutic virtue

and the artist wo
uld be akin to a shaman. Objects
and materials linked to an entirely personal symbolism anchored in his biography were involved in
an art with social aims in a sick society.

Infiltration homogen für Konzertflügel
(Infiltration Homogen for Grand Piano), 1966

Grand piano covered in felt and fabrics

100 x 152 x 240 cm

By associating a piano, a mu
sical instrument and carrier of sound waves, with felt, a material
symbolic of life and survival for the artist, Beuys aimed to make this object an
energy vector
. The
piano's sound potential is filtered through the felt. The object is disguised and can be
made out
behind the fabric which opens it to other sensory experiences. "The two crosses", said Beuys,
"signify the urgency of the danger that threatens if we remain silent [...]. Such an object is devised to
encourage debate and in no case as an anaesthet
ic product."

Thus the object becomes increasingly arrayed with symbolic resonances which the artist has to
explain since they are particular to him, as is also the case for Raynaud's

. The
flowerpot and the square white tile which recur in hi
s work refer respectively to life and death in a
cold and increasingly aseptic world.

Bertrand Lavier (1949)

Bertrand Lavier's work has its place on the pathway that was opened up by Duchamp when he
questioned the boundary between art and non art wit
h his ready
mades. This boundary has become
an ever finer one and Lavier challenges it with his ordinary objects from everyday life: "fridges" or
cupboards with plain, straight lines, impersonal pieces removed from their context and set up in the
museum. W
ith his painted objects from the 1980s, Lavier resolves the dilemma between art and
non art. Acrylic paint applied in thick layers that parody Van Gogh's brushwork lifts these objects
above the mere status of ready
mades. As Jean
Hubert Martin stresses, th
e paint covers exactly
what it speaks of. The object sitting on the ground therefore addresses us with its very ambiguity:

is simultaneously a painting and an object
, therefore neither wholly one nor the other.

By employing the superimposition of one ob
ject upon another, as for example a refrigerator on a
, 1984, Lavier returns to
notions of the sculpture and its plinth
. Contrary to
appearances, Lavier claims to take his inspiration more from Brancusi than from Duchamp, and his

organised installations exemplify an interrogation of sculpture itself, by means of the object.

Mademoiselle Gauducheau
, 1981

painted metal cupboards

195 x 91.5 x 50 cm

The humorous title brings to mind a female figure in contrast with the object and its strictly
geometric form. This surrounds it with a mystery that is redoubled by the

pictorial covering of its
surface. This metal office cupboard is a banal piece of furniture, completely covered in green acrylic
paint, a paint that adheres to the object like a thick elastic skin and gives it a waxy consistency.
While the object is insig
nificant, commonplace and pre
existing its appropriation by the artist, it is
act of a painter

which gives it the status of a work of art.

This hybrid piece was shown in the exhibition
Cinq pièces faciles
(Five Easy Pieces) at the Eric Fabre
Gallery, a
long with two other pieces of office furniture, a

refrigerator and a

grand piano. In relation to the other objects in the series and in terms of its installation, as
well as the space of exhibition, through its imposing static p
resence it connects with the kind of
sculpture to which the artist lays claim.

Margherita LEONI



La Collection du Musée national d'art moderne
, published by the Centre Georges Pompidou, 1986

La Collection du Musée nation
al d'art moderne, Acquisitions, 1986
, published by the Centre
Georges Pompidou, 1997

L'ivresse du réel
, edited collection, Carré d'art contemporain, Nîmes, 1993

• Denys Riout,
ce que l'art moderne

, Folio, Gallimard, 2000

• Catherine Mill
L'art contemporain en France
, Flammarion, 1989

• Werner Spies,
Picasso sculpteur
, Centre Pompidou Editions, 2000

Art moderne. La Collection du Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne,
sous la direction
de Brigitte Léal, 2007

Art contemp
orain. La Collection du Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne,

sous la
direction de Sophie Duplaix, 2007


Educational dossiers on the collections of the Musée national d'art moderne

Pablo Picasso

Surrealist Art

Pop Art

New Realism

Exhibition Itineraries

The Surrealist Revolution

Pasted from <


mardi 13 mai 2008


gardes is an art movement of the first half of the XX century, appeared as something totally
different from classical Art, and is the result of many revolutionary changes taking place in society,
such as invention o
f electricity, cars, X
rays,etc. This is a new conception of perception of the world,
which was given by a group of "before
others" artists, creating a new artistic field. The origin of
the word can be linked with the notion of "vanguard" , a small t
roop of highly skilled soldiers,who
were supposed to explore the terrain ahead of a large advancing army. This concept is applied to the
work done by small group of intellectuals and artists as they open new pathways in art, then
followed by society.

The m
ovement included such artists as

Constantin Brancusi, a romanian sculptor, whose sculptures blend simplicity and sophistication.

Amedeo Modigliani, an italian painter (and sculptor)

Pablo Picasso

Georges Braques


Marcel Duchamp

Kasimir Male


mardi 13 mai 2008




is a
cultural movement

that began in neutral
, during
War I

and peaked from 1916 to 1920. The movement primarily involved
visual arts

art manifestoes
art theory
, and
graphic design
, and concentrated its
anti war

politic through a rejection

of the prevailing standards in


cultural works. Dada
activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/l
iterary journals.
Passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture filled their publications. The movement influenced
later styles,

Downtown music

movements, and groups including
Nouveau Réalisme
Pop Art



"Dada is the groundwork to abstract art and sound poetry, a starting point for performance art, a
prelude to postmodernism, an influence on pop art, a celebration of
antiart to be later embraced for
political uses in the 1960s and the movement that lay the foundation for Surrealism."

Marc Lowenthal, Translator's introduction to
Francis Picabia
I Am

a Beautiful Monster: Poetry,
Prose, And Provocation

(MIT Press 2007)

Cover of the first edition of the publication
. Edited by
Tristan Tzara
, 1917.



1 Overview

2 History


2.1 Origin of the word Dada


2.2 Zürich


2.3 Berlin


2.4 Cologne


2.5 New York


2.6 Paris


2.7 The Netherlands


2.8 Georgia

3 Poetry; music and sound

4 Legacy

5 Early practitioners

6 See also

7 References


7.1 Footnotes

8 External links


Dada was an informal international movement, with pa
rticipants in

North America
. The
beginnings of Dada correspond to the outbreak of World War I. For many participants, the
movement was

a protest against the



interests which many
aists believed were the root cause of the war, and against the cultural and intellectual

in art and more broadly in society

that corresponded to the war.

Hannah H
Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer
Belly Cultural Epoch
in Germany
, 1919, collage of pasted papers, 90x144

Staatliche Museum

Many Dadaists believed that the 'reason' and 'logic' of bourgeois

society had led people
into war. They expressed their rejection of that ideology in artistic expression that appeared to
reject logic and embrace

. For example,
George Grosz

later recalled that his
Dadaist art was intended as a protest "against this world of mutual destruction".

According to its proponents, Dada was not

it was "
" in the sense that Dadaists
protested against the contempor
ary academic and cultured values of art. For everything that art
stood for, Dada was to represent the opposite. Where art was concerned with traditional
, Dada ignored aesthetics. If art was

to appeal to sensibilities, Dada was intended to
offend. Through their rejection of traditional culture and aesthetics the Dadaists hoped to destroy
traditional culture and aesthetics.

A reviewer from the
American Art News

stated at the time that "The Dada philosophy is the sickest,

and most destructive thing that has ever originated from the brain of man." Art
historians have describ
ed Dada as being, in large part, "in reaction to what many of these artists
saw as nothing more than an insane spectacle of collective

Years later, Dada artists described the movement as "a phenomenon bursting forth in the midst of
the postwar economic and moral crisis, a savior, a monster, which would lay waste to everything in
its path. [It was] a systematic work
of destruction and demoralization...In the end it became
nothing but an act of sacrilege."


This section needs additional


Please help
improve this article

by adding
reliable references
. See
talk page

for details.
Unsourced material may be

d removed.
(November 2007)

Origin of the word

The origin of the name

is unclear; some believe that it is a nonsensical word. Others maintain
that it originates from the

Tristan Tzara

Marcel Janco
's frequent use of the
da, da
, meaning
yes, yes

in the
Romanian language

(Engl. equivalent:
yeah, yeah
, as in a
sarcastic or facetious
yeah, right
). Still others believe that a group of artists assembled in

1916, wanting a name for the
ir new movement, chose it at random by stabbing a

dictionary with a paper knife, and picking the name that the point lan
ded upon.

in French is a
child's word for
. In French the colloquialism,
c'est mon dada
, means
it's my hobby

It has also been suggested that the word "dada" was chosen randomly from

According to the Dada ideal, the movement would not be called
, much less designated an


In 1916,
Hugo Ball
Emmy Hennings
Tristan Tzara
Jean/Hans Arp
Marcel Janco
Sophie Täuber
; along with others discussed art a
nd put on performances in the
Cabaret Voltaire

expressing their disgust with the war and the interests that inspired it. By some
accounts Dada coalesced on
October 6

at the cabaret.

At the first public

at the cabaret on
July 14
, Ball recited the first manifesto (see
Tzara, in 1918, wrote a
Dada manifesto

ered one of the most important of the Dada writings.
Other manifestos followed.

Marcel Janco


We had lost confidence in our culture. Everything had to be demolished. We would
begin again af
ter the "
tabula rasa
". At the Cabaret Voltaire we began by shocking
common sense, public opinion, education, institutions, museums, good taste, in short,
the whole prevailing order.

A single issue of

Cabaret Voltaire

was the first publication to come out of the movement.

After the cabaret closed down, activities moved to a new gallery, and Ball left Europe. Tzara began
a relentless campaign to spread Dada ideas. He bombarded French and Italian artists

and writers
with letters, and soon emerged as the Dada leader and master strategist. The
Cabaret Voltaire

by now re
opened, and is still in the same place at the Spiegelga
sse 1 in the Niederdorf.

rich Dada, with Tzara at the helm, published the art and literature review

beginning in July
1917, with five editions from Zürich and the final two from Paris.

When World War I ended in 1918, most of the Z
rich Dadaists retu
rned to their home countries,
and some began Dada activities in other cities.


The groups in

were not as strongly

as other groups. Their activity and art was

, with corrosive

, biting
, large public

and overt political activities. It has been suggested that this is at least p
artially due
's proximity to the front, and that for an opposite effect,
New York
's geographic distance
from the war spawned its more theoret
driven, less political nature.

In February 1918,
Richard Huelsenbeck

gave his first Dada speech in Berlin, and produced a Dada
manifesto later in the year.
Hannah Höch

and George Grosz used Dada to express post
World War I

sympathies. Grosz, together with
John Heartfield
, developed the


during this period. The artists published a series of short
lived political
, and
held the
International Dada Fair

in 1920.

The Berlin group saw much in
Kurt Schwitters

and others were excluded from the group.
Schwitters moved to

where he developed his individual type of Dada, which he dubbed

The Berlin group published

such as
Club Dada
Der Dada
Everyman His Own Football

Dada Almanach



Max Ernst
Johannes Theodor Baargeld


launched a controversial Dada
exhibition in 1920 which focused on nonsense and anti
bourgeois sentiments. Cologne's Early
Spring Exhibition was set up
in a pub, and required that participants walk past urinals while being
read lewd poetry by a woman in a communion dress. The police closed the exhibition on grounds of
obscenity, but it was re
opened when the charges were dropped.

New York


Marcel Duchamp
, 1917, photograph by
Alfred Stieglitz

Like Z
rich, New York was a refuge for writers and artists from World War I. Soon after arriving
from France in 1915,
Marcel Duchamp


Francis Picabia

met American artist
Man Ray
. By 1916
the three of them became the center of radical anti
art activities in the United States.

Beatrice Wood
, who had been studying in
, soon joined them. Much of their activity
centered in
Alfred Stieglitz
's gallery, 291, and the home of
Walter and Louise Arensberg

The New Yorkers, though not particularly organized, called their activities

but they did not
issue manifestos. They issued challenges to art and culture through publications such as
The Blind
, and
New York Dada

in which they criticized the traditionalist basis for

art. New York Dada lacked the disillusionmen
t of European Dada and was instead driven by a sense
of irony and humor. In his book
Adventures in the arts: informal chapters on painters, vaudeville
and poets

Marsden Hartley

included an essay
on "
The Importance of Being 'Dada'

During this time Duchamp began exhibiting "
" (found objects)

such as a bottle rack, and
got involved with the
Society of Independent Artists
. In 1917 he submitted the now famous
, a urinal signed R. Mutt, to the Society of Independent Artists show only to have the piece
rejected. First an object of scorn within the arts community, the

has si
nce become almost
canonized by some. The committee presiding over
's prestigious
Turner Prize

in 2004, for
example, called it "the most influen
tial work of modern art."

In an attempt to "pay homage to
the spirit of Dada" a performance artist named
Pierre Pinoncelli

made a crack in The Fountain with
a hammer in January 2006; he also urinated on it in 1993.

Picabia's travels tied New York, Z
rich and Paris groups together during the Dadaist period. For
seven years he also published the Dada periodical

, New York City, Zürich, and
Paris from 1917 through 1924.

By 1921, most of the original players moved to Paris where Dada experi
enced its last major
incarnation (see

for later activity).


The French

kept abreast of Dada activities in Zürich with r
egular communications from
Tristan Tzara

(whose pseudonym means "sad in country," a name chosen to protest the treatment
of Jews in his native Romania), who exchanged letters, poems, and magazines
André Breton
Max Jacob
, and other French w
riters, critics and artists.

Paris had arguably been the classical music capital of the world since the advent of musical
Impressionism in the late 19th century. One of its practitioners,
Erik Satie
collaborated with Picasso
and Cocteau in a mad, scandalous ballet called
. First performed by the
Ballet Russes

1917, it su
cceeded in creating a scandal but in a different way than Stravinsky's
Le Sacre du

had done almost 5 years earlier. This was a ballet that was clearly parodying itself,
traditional ballet patrons would obviously have serious issues with.

Dada in Paris surged in 1920 when many of the originators converged there. Inspired by Tzara, Paris
Dada soon issued manifestos, organized demonstrations, staged performances and produced

number of journals (the final two editions of
Le Cannibale
, and

featured Dada in
several editions.)

The first introduction of Dada artwork to the Parisian public was at the
Salon des Indépendants

Jean Crotti

exhibited works associated with Dada including a work entitled,

the word

The Netherlands

The Netherlands

the Dada movement centered mainly around
Theo van Doesburg
, most well
known for establishing the
De Stijl

movement and magazine of the same name. Van Doesburg
mainly focused on poetry, and included poems from many well
known Dada writers in
De Stijl

Hugo Ball
Hans Arp

Kurt Schwitters
. Van Doesburg became a friend of Schwitters, and
together they organized the so
Dutch Dada campaign

in 1923, where Van Doesbur
promoted a leaflet about Dada (entitled
What is Dada?
), Schwitters read his poems,
Vilmos Huszàr

demonstrated a mechanical dancing doll and Van Doesburg's wife, Nelly, played

compositions on piano.

Van Doesburg wrote Dada poetry himself in
De Stijl
, although under a pseudonym, I.K. Bonset,
which was only revealed after his death in 1931. 'Together' with I.K. Bonset, he also
published a

Dada magazine called


Although Dada itself was unknown in

until at least 1920
, from 1917
1921 a group of poets
called themselves "41st Degree" (referring both to the latitude of
, Georgia and to the
temperature of a high fever) organized along Dadaist lines. The most impor
tant figure in this group
, whose radical typographical designs visually echo the publications of the Dadaists. After
his flight to Paris in 1921, he collaborated with Dadaists on publications a
nd events.

Poetry; music and sound

Dada was not confined to the visual and literary arts; its influence reached into sound and music.
Kurt Schwitters

developed what he called
sound poems

and comp
osers such as
Erwin Schulhoff
Hans Heusser

Albert Savinio

Dada music
, while members of
Les Six

collaborated with
members of the Dada movement and had their works performed at Dada gatherings. The abo
Erik Satie

dabbled with Dadaist ideas throughout his career although he is primarily
associated with musical

In t
he very first Dada publication,
Hugo Ball

describes a "balalaika orchestra playing delightful folk
African music


was common at Dada gatherings, signaling a return to nature and


The Janco Dada Museum, named after
Marcel Janco
, in
Ein Hod

See also:
Postmodernism#Notable philosophical contributors

While broad, the movement was unstable. By 1924 in Paris, Dada was melding into
, and
artists had gone on to other ideas a
nd movements, including surrealism,
social realism

and other
forms of
. Some theorists argue that Dada was actually the beginning of


By the dawn of
World War II
, many of the European D
adaists had fled or emigrated to the
. Some died in death camps under Hitler, who persecuted the kind of "
Degenerate art
" th
Dada represented. The movement became less active as post
World War II optimism led to new
movements in art and literature.

Dada is a named influence and reference of various



including the

culture jamming

groups like the
Cacophony Society

At the same time that the Z
rich Dadaists made noise and spectacle at the
Cabaret Voltaire
Vladimir Lenin

wrote his revolutionary plans for

in a nearby apartm
ent. He was
unappreciative of the artistic revolutionary activity near him.
Tom Stoppard

used this coincidence
as a premise for his play

(1974), which includes Tzara, Lenin, and
James Joyce


The Cabaret Voltaire fell into disrepair until it was occupied from January to March, 2002, by a
group proclaiming themselves

, led by
Mark Divo

The group included
Jan Thieler
Ingo Giezendanner
Aiana Calugar
Lennie Lee

Dan Jones
. After their eviction the space became
a museum dedicated to the history of Dada. The work of
Lennie Lee

Dan Jones

remained on
the walls of the museum.

Several notable

have examined the influence of Dad
a upon art and society. In 1967,
a large Dada retrospective was held in
Paris, France
. In 2006, the
Museum of Modern Art

in New
ork City held a Dada exhibition in collaboration with the
National Gallery of Art

in Washington D.C.
and the
Centre Pompidou

n Paris.

Early practitioners

For a more complete list of Dadaists, see
List of Dadaists

Guillaume Apollinaire


Hans Arp

Switzerland, France and Germany

Hugo Ball


Johannes Baader


John Heartfield


Arthur Cravan

United States

Jean Crotti


Theo van Doesburg

The Netherlands

Marcel Duchamp

France and United States

George Grosz


Max Ernst


Elsa von Freytag

United States, Germany

Hannah H


Marsden Hartley

United States

Raoul Hausmann


Emmy Hennings


Richard Huelsenbeck

Switzerland and Germany

Marcel Iancu

and (born in Romania)

ment Pansaers


Francis Picabia

Switzerland, United States and France

Man Ray

United States and France

Hans Richter

Germany, Switzerland and United States

Kurt S


Sophie Taeuber


Tristan Tzara

Switzerland and France (born in Romania)

Beatrice Wood

United States and France

Ilia Zdanevich


Georgia and France

Pasted from <


mardi 13 mai 2008



was an


that originated in

at the begi
nning of the
20th century
Although a nascent Futurism can be seen surfacing throughout the very early years of the
twentieth century, the

Entwurf einer neuen Ästhetik der Tonkunst

(Sketch of a New
Aesthetic of Music) by the


Ferruccio Busoni

is sometimes claimed as its true
starting point. Futurism was a largely


movement, although it also h
ad adherents
in other countries, England for example.

The Futurists explored every medium of art, including

and even
. The Italian poet
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti

was the first among
them to produce a

of their artistic

in his

of (
), first released


and published in the

Le Figaro

February 20
). Marinetti summed up the major
principles of the Futurists, including a passionate loathing of ideas from the past, especially political
and artistic traditions. He and others also espoused a love of
, and
Futurists dubbed the love of the past
. The car, the plane, the industrial town we
re all
legendary for the Futurists, because they represented the technological triumph of people over
. Few futurist works came into existence because of the repression of Russia at that time, so
ese manifestos still remain on paper.



1 Futurist Painting and Sculpture in Italy 1

2 Cubo

3 Futurism in Music

4 Futurism in Literature

5 Futurism in the 1920s and 1930s

6 The legacy of Futurism

7 Prominent Futurist artists

8 References

9 See also

10 Further reading

11 External links

] Futurist Painting and Sculpture in Italy 1910

Marinetti's impassioned

immediately attracted the support of the young Milanese


Umberto Boccioni
Carlo Carrà
, and
Luigi Russolo


who wanted to extend Marinetti's ideas to the

. (Russolo was also a composer, and introduced Futurist ideas into his compositions). The
Giacomo Balla

Gino Severini

et Marinetti in 1910 and together with Boccioni, Carrà
and Russolo issued the
Manifesto of the Futurist Painters
. It was couched in the violent and
declamatory language of Marinetti's founding manifesto, opening with the words,

The cry of rebellion which we utter associates our ideals with those of the
Futurist poets. These ideas were not invented by some aesthetic clique. They
are an expression of a violent desire, which
burns in the veins of every creative

artist today. ... We will fight with all our might the fanatical, senseless and
snobbish religion of the past, a religion encouraged by the vicious existence of
museums. We rebel against that spineless worshipping of ol
d canvases, old
statues and old bric
brac, against everything which is filthy and worm
and corroded by time. We consider the habitual contempt for everything
which is young, new and burning with life to be unjust and even criminal.

They repudia
ted the cult of the past and all imitation, praised originality, "however daring, however
violent", bore proudly "the smear of madness", dismissed art critics as useless, rebelled against
harmony and good taste, swept away all the themes and subjects of al
l previous art, and gloried in
science. Their manifesto did not contain a positive artistic programme, which they attempted to
create in their subsequent
Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting
. The
Technical Manifesto

committed them to a "universal dynam
ism", which was to be directly represented in painting.
Objects in reality were not separate from one another or from their surroundings: "The sixteen
people around you in a rolling motor bus are in turn and at the same time one, ten four three; they
are m
otionless and they change places. ... The motor bus rushes into the houses which it passes,
and in their turn the houses throw themselves upon the motor bus and are blended with it."

The Futurist painters were slow to develop a distinctive style and subject matter. In 1910 and 1911
they used the technique of divisionism, breaking light and color down into a field of stippled dots
and stripes, which had been originally creat
ed by
. Severini, who lived in Paris, was the first
to come into contact with

and following a visit to Paris in 1911 the Futurist painters
adopted the methods of the Cubists. Cubism offered them a means of analysing energy in paintings
and expressing dynamism.

Carlo Carr
Funeral of the Anarchist Galli


Umberto Boccioni,
The City Rises


They often painted modern
urban scenes. Carr
Funeral of the Anarchist Galli

11) is a large
canvas representing events that the artist had himself been involved in in 1904. The action of a
police at
tack and riot is rendered energetically with diagonals and broken planes. His
Leaving the

11) uses a divisionist technique to render isolated and faceless figures trudging
home at night under street lights.

The City Rises

(1910) re
presents scenes of construction and manual labour with a huge,
rearing red horse in the centre foreground, which workmen struggle to control. His
States of Mind
in three large panels,
The Farewell
Those who Go
, and
Those Who Stay
, "made his first great
tatement of Futurist painting, bringing his interests in
, Cubism and the individual's
complex experience of the modern world together in what has been described as one of the 'minor

of early twentieth century painting."

The work attempts to convey feelings and
sensations experienced in time, using new means of expression, including "lines of force",
were intended to convey the directional tendencies of objects through space, "simultaneity", which
combined memories, present impressions and anticipation of future events, and "emotional
ambience" in which the artist seeks by intuition to link sympa
thies between the exterior scene and
interior emotion.

Boccioni's intentions in art were strongly influenced by the ideas of Bergson, including the idea of
, which Bergson defined as a simple, indivisible experience of sympathy through which one
is moved into the inner being of an object to grasp what is unique and ineffable within it. The
s aimed through their art thus to enable the viewer to apprehend the inner being of what
they depicted. Boccioni developed these ideas at length in his book,
Pittura scultura Futuriste:
Dinamismo plastico

Futurist Painting Sculpture: Plastic Dynamism
) (19

Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash

(1912) exemplifies the Futurists' insistence that the
perceived world is in constant movement. The painting depicts a dog whose le
gs, tail and leash

and the feet of the person walking it

have been multiplied to a blur of movement. It illustrates the
precepts of the
Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting

that, "On account of the persistency of an
image upon the retina, moving ob
jects constantly multiply themselves; their form changes like
rapid vibrations, in their mad career. Thus a running horse has not four legs, but twenty, and their
movements are triangular."

Rhythm of the Bow

(1912) similarly depicts the movements of a
violinist's hand and instrument, rendered in rapid strokes within a triangular frame.

The adoption of Cubism determined the style of much subsequent Futurist painting, whi
ch Boccioni
and Severini in particular continued to render in the broken colors and short brush
strokes of
divisionism. But Futurist painting differed in both subject matter and treatment from the quiet and
static Cubism of

. Although there were Futurist portraits (e.g. Carrà's
Woman with Absinthe

(1911), Severini's

1912), and Boccioni's

(1912)), it was
the urban scene and vehicles in motion that typified Futurist painting

e.g. Severini's
Hieroglyph of the Bal Tabarin

(1912) and Russolo's
Automobile at Speed


Umberto Boccioni,
Unique Forms of Continuity in Space


In 1912 and 1913, Boccioni turned to sculpture to translate into three dimensions his Futurist ideas.
Unique Forms of Continuity in Space

(1913) he attempted to realise the relationship between the
object and its environment, which was central to his theory of "dynamism". The sculpture
represents a striding figure,

cast in bronze posthumously and exhibited in the
Tate Gallery
. He
explored the theme further in
Synthesis of Human Dynamism

Speeding Muscles

(1913) and
Spiral Expansion of Speeding Muscles

(1913). His ideas on sculpture were published in the
Manifesto of Futurist Sculpture

In 1915 Balla also turned to sculpture making abstract
"reconstructions", whi
ch were created out of various materials, were apparently moveable and
even made noises. He said that, after making twenty pictures in which he had studied the velocity
of automobiles, he understood that "the single plane of the canvas did not permit the s
uggestion of
the dynamic volume of speed in depth ... I felt the need to construct the first dynamic plastic
complex with iron wires, cardboard planes, cloth and tissue paper, etc."

In 1914, personal quarrels and artistic differences between the Milan group, around Marinetti,
Boccioni, and Balla, and the Florence group, around Carrà,
Ardengo Soffici

1964) an
Giovanni Papini

1956), created a rift in Italian Futurism. The Florence group resented the
dominance of Marinetti and Boccioni, whom they accused of trying to establish "an immobile
h with an infallible creed", and each group dismissed the other as

Futurism had from the outset admired violence and was intensely patriotic. The
Futurist Manifesto

had declared, "We will glorify war

the world's only hygiene

militarism, patr
iotism, the destructive
gesture of freedom
bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman."

Although it
owed much of its character and some of its ideas to

radical political movements, it was not much
involved in politics until the autumn of 1913.

Then, fearing the re
election of
, Marinetti
published a political manifesto. In 1914 the Futurists began to campaign actively against Austria
and Italian neutrality. In September, Boccioni, seated in the balcony of the Teatro dal Verme in
Milan, tore up an Austr
ian flag and threw it into the audience, while Marinetti waved an Italian flag.

The outbreak of

disguised the fact that Italian Futurism had come to an end. The Florence
group had formally ac
knowledged their withdrawal from the movement by the end of 1914.
Boccioni produced only one war picture and was killed in 1916. Severini painted some significant
war pictures in 1915 (e.g.
Armored Train
, and
Red Cross Train
), but in Paris turned towa
Cubism and post
war was associated with the Return to Order.

After the war, Marinetti attempted to revive the movement in
il secondo Futurismo

] Cubo

Image from an

poster by Mayakovsky.

Main articles:
Russian Futurism


Futurism was the main school of Russian Futurism which imbued influence of Cubism and
developed in Russia in 1913.

Like their Italian predecessors, the Russian Futurists

Velimir Khlebnikov
Aleksey Kruchenykh
Vladimir Mayakovsky
avid Burlyuk

were fascinated with dynamism, speed, and restlessness of
modern urban life. They purposely sought to arouse controversy and to attract publicity by
repudiating static art of the past. The likes of

, according to them, should
have been "heaved overboard from the steamship of modernity". They acknowledged no
authorities whatsoever; even
, principles of whose manifesto they adopted earlier

when he arrived to Russia on a proselytizing visit in

was obstructed by most Russian
Futurists who now did
not profess to owe anything to him.

In contrast to Marinetti's circle, Russian Futurism was a literary rather than artistic movement.
Although many leading poets (Mayakovsky, Burlyuk) dabbled in painting, their interests were
primarily literary. On the oth
er hand, such well
established artists as
Mikhail Larionov
, and
Kazimir Malevich

found inspiration in the refreshing imagery of Futurist poems
and experimented with versification themselves. The poets and painters attempted to collaborate
on such innovative productions as the Futurist opera
Victory Over the Sun
, with texts by
Kruchenykh and sets contributed by Malevich.

The movement began to waste away after the revolution of 1917. Many prominent members of
the Russian Futurism emigrated a
broad. Artists like


become the
prominent members of the

shment and

of the 1920s. Others like Khlebnikov
were persecuted for their beliefs.

] Futurism in Mu

One of the many 20th century classical movements in music was one which involved homage to,
inclusion of, or imitation of machines. Closely identified with the central Italian Futurist movement
were brother composers
Luigi Russolo

Antonio Russolo
, who used instruments known as
", which were essentially sound box
es used to create music out of noise. Luigi
Russolo's futurist manifesto,
The Art of Noises
, is considered to be one of the most important and
influential texts in 20th century musical aestheti
cs. Other examples of futurist music include
Pacific 231
, which imitates the sound of a steam locomotive, Prokofiev's "T
he Steel
Step", and the experiments of Edgard Varèse. Most notably, however, might be composer
. Embraced by dadists, futurists, and modernists alike, he was championed as the musica
face of the radical movements of the 1920s. The culmination of his machine obsession, as seen in
previous works such as "Airplane Sonata" and "Death of the Machines", was manifest in the 30 min.
Ballet mécanique
. Originally accompanied by an experimental film by
Fernand Leger

but scratched
due to the length of the score being twice that of the film, the autograph score calls for a
and bold percussion ensemble, consisting of 3 xylophones, 4 bass drums, a tam
tam, three airplane
propellers (one large wood, one small wood, one metal), seven electric bells, a siren, 2 "live
pianists", and 16 synchronized player pianos. At the tim
e it was written however, synchronizing 16
player pianos was impossible and was performed in a reduced form (in 1999 the piece was fully
realized to a great success). Antheil's piece was a first for music in synchronizing machines with
human players, and i
n exploiting the various differences between the technical competence of
humans and machines (that is to say, what machines can play vs. what people can't, and vice
versa); this ideology can be seen reflected in even modern day music where the philosophy t
man and machine need each other to create the best music has led to the incorporation of
software into live performances. Antheil himself described his piece as a "solid shaft of steel."

] Futurism in Literature

Main article:
Futurism (literature)


as a literary movement made its official debut with F.T. Marinetti's
Manifesto of Futurism

), as it delineated the various ideals Futurist poetry should strive for. Poetry, the predominate
medium of Futurist literature, can

be characterized by its unexpected combinations of images and
conciseness (not to be confused with the actual length of the poem). Theater also has an
important place within the Futurist universe. Works in this genre have scenes that are few
es long, have an emphasis on nonsensical humor, and attempt to discredit the deep rooted
traditions via parody and other devaluation techniques. The longer forms of literature, such as the
novel, had no place in the Futurist aesthetic of speed and compress

] Futurism in the 1920s and 1930s

Many Italian Futurists instinctively supported the rise of Fascism in Italy in the hope of modernizing
the society and th
e economy of a country that was still torn between unfulfilled industrial
revolution in the North and the rural, archaic South. Marinetti founded the
Partito Politico Futurista

(Futurist Political Party) in early 1918, which only a year later was absorbed
Benito Mussolini
Fasci di combattimento
, making Marinetti one of the first supporters and members of the
Fascist Party
. However, he opposed Fascism's later canonical exultation of existing institutions,
calling them "reactionary", and, after walking out of the 1920 Fascist party congress in disgus
withdrew from politics for three years. Nevertheless, he stayed a notable force in developing the
party thought throughout the regime. Some Futurists'
aestheticization of violence

and glorification
of modern warfare as the ultimate artistic expression and their intense

also induced
them to embrace Fascism. Many Futurists became associated with the regime in the 19
20s, which
gave them both official recognition and the ability to carry out important works, especially in

Throughout the Fascist regime Marinetti sought to make Futurism the official
state art of Italy but
failed to do so. Mussolini was personally uninterested in art and chose to give patronage to
numerous styles and movements in order to keep artists loyal to the regime. Opening the
exhibition of Novecento art in 1923 he said, "I decl
are that it is far from my idea to encourage
anything like a state art. Art belongs to the domain of the individual. The state has only one duty:
not to undermine art, to provide humane conditions for artists, to encourage them from the artistic
and nation
al point of view."

Mussolini's mistress, Margherita Sarfatti, who was as able a
cultural entrepreneur as Marinetti, successfully promoted the rival Novecento group, and e
persuaded Marinetti to sit on its board. Although in the early years of Italian Fascism modern art
was tolerated and even embraced, towards the end of the 1930s, right
wing Fascists introduced the
concept of "degenerate art" from Germany to Italy and c
ondemned Futurism.

Marinetti made numerous moves to ingratiate himself with the regime, becoming less radical and
avant garde with each. He moved from Milan to Rome to be nearer the centre of things. He
became an academician despite his condemnation of aca
demies, married despite his
condemnation of marriage, promoted religious art after the
Lateran Treaty

of 1929 and even
reconciled himself to the Catholic church, declaring that Jesus was a Futuris

Some leftists that came to Futurism in the earlier years continued to oppose Marinetti's artistic and
political direction of Futurism. Leftists continued to be associated with Futurism right up until 1924,
when the socialists, communists, anarchists and

Fascists finally walked out of the Milan
, and the anti
Fascist voices in Futurism were not completely silenced until the
annexation of Ethiopia and the It
German Pact of Steel in 1939.

Aeropainting (
) was a major expression of Futurism in the thirties and early forties. The
technology and excitement of flight
, directly experienced by most aeropainters,

aeroplanes and aerial landscape as new subject matter. But aeropainting was varied in subject
matter and treatment, i
ncluding realism (especially in works of propaganda), abstraction,
dynamism, quiet Umbrian landscapes,

portraits of Mussolini (e.g. Dottori's
Portrait of il Duce
onal religious paintings and decorative art.

Aeropainting was launched in a manifesto of 1929,
Perspectives of Flight
, signed by
, Marinetti,

. The artists stated that "The
changing persp
ectives of flight constitute an absolutely new reality that has nothing in common
with the reality traditionally constituted by a terrestrial perspective" and that "Painting from this
new reality requires a profound contempt for detail and a need to synthe
sise and transfigure
everything." Crispolti identifies three main "positions" in aeropainting: "a vision of cosmic
projection, at its most typical in Prampolini's 'cosmic idealism' ...

; a 'reverie' of aerial fantasies
sometimes verging on fairy
tale (for
example in Dottori ...); and a kind of aeronautical
documentarism that comes dizzyingly close to direct celebration of machinery (particularly in Crali,
but also in Tato and Ambrosi)."

Eventually there were over a hundred aeropainters. The most
able were Balla, Depero, Prampolini, Dottori and Crali.

Fortunato Depero was the co
author wit
h Balla of
The Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe
(1915) a radical manifesto for the revolution of everyday life. He practised painting, design,
sculpture, graphic art, illustration, interior design, stage design and ceramics.

The decorative
element comes to the fore in Depero's later painting, e.g.
Train Born from the Sun

(1924). He
applied this approach in theatre design and commercial art

e.g. his unrealised des
igns for
Chant du Rossignol
, (1916) his large tapestry,
The Court of the Big Doll

(1920) and his
many posters.

Enrico Prampolini pursued a programme of abstract and quasi
abstract painting, combined with a
career in stage design. His
andscape Construction

(1919) is quasi
abstract with large flat
areas in bold colours, predominantly red, orange, blue and dark green. His
Simultaneous Landscape

(1922) is totally abstract, with flat colours and no attempt to create perspective. In his

(1929), produced in the year of the Aeropainting Manifesto, Prampolini returns to
figuration, representing the hills of Umbria. But by 1931 he had adopted "cosmic idealism", a
biomorphic abstractionism quite different from the works of the pr
evious decade, for example in
Pilot of the Infinite

(1931) and
Biological Apparition


Gerardo Dottori made a specifically Futurist contribution to landscape painting, which he
frequently shows from an aerial viewpoint. Some of his landscapes appear
to be more conventional
than Futurist, e.g. his
Hillside Landscape

(1925). Others are dramatic and lyrical, e.g.
The Miracle of

2), which employs his characteristic high viewpoint over a schematised landscape with
patches of brilliant colour an
d a non
naturalistic perspective reminiscent of pre
painting; over the whole are three rainbows, in non
naturalistic colour. More typically Futurist is his
major work, the
Velocity Triptych

of 1925.

Dottori was one of the principal exponents of

Futurist sacred art. His painting of
St. Francis Dying at

has a strong landscape element and a mystical intent conveyed by distortion, dramatic
light and colour.

Mural painting was embraced by the Futurists in the
Manifesto of Mural Plasticism

at a time when