Monday, September 01, 2014

Italian Futurism 1909-1944 at the Guggenheim

You could be forgiven for wondering how the Italian Futurists ever managed to get any work done, what with all the time they spent writing manifestos. But the Italian Futurism 1909-1944 show at the Guggenheim reminds us that Marinetti, Carra, Benedetta, and the rest did in fact occasionally stop panegyrizing speed and virility and death to paint, draw, sculpt, and photograph things. The far-reaching exhibit displays just how far some Futurists took the idea of remaking the world --- who would have thought that the revolution would extend to coffee pots? --- and follows Futurism into its later, less reputable period, when it wasn't merely setting the aesthetic table for militaristic totalitarianism but was actively serving up fascist propaganda. In an era impatient even with virtual speed, some of the works can feel almost quaint in their celebration of mechanical speed, which is itself instructive: the shock of the old's shock of the new. 

Photo: thanks.

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