Futurism

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A History of Graphic Design The Influence of Modern Art - Futurism

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Duchamp Nude Descending Staircase, Marcel Duchamp, 1913 Transition from Cubism to Futurism Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, 1913, is a pivotal piece in the transition from Cubism to Futurism. At first glance this piece fits the style of Analytical Cubism with the geometric forms, multiple viewpoints and monochromatic colors. Where Duchamp moves away from Cubism is that his work shows a subject in motion. He used a moving viewpoint to reveal dynamic action in a series of successive overlapped images. The Futurists glorified motion, speed and the mechanical age.

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13-08 Filipp Marinetti Futurism is the first ‘self-aware’ art movement and was initiated in 1909 with poet Filippo Marinetti’s publication of the “Manifesto of Futurism”. (A Manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions.) In the Manifesto, Futurists glorified speed, danger, the machine age, war and modern life. It attacked the academics and called for a destruction of museums and libraries. They were entranced with the new possibilities of speed and modern technology. Futurist poets wrote explosive poetry that defied syntax. They were influenced by Cubism use of fragmented planes and often used multiple fonts and styles. Futurism, 1909-1914

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13-08 Manifesto of Futurism Excerpts from the Manifesto for Futurism: “We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness. Courage, audacity, and revolt will be essential elements of our poetry…We affirm that the world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. Except in struggle there is no more beauty. No work without an aggressive character can be a masterpiece. We shall glorify war – that sole hygiene for the world.” F. T. Marinetti - “Futurism means hate of the past. Our aim is to energetically combat and destroy the cult of the past.” Caroline Tisdall on Futurism - How could the arts, heralds of change, drag dully on in the gloom of academic nudes and wistful odes, using nothing but the old language unchanged for centuries? In the age of light how could culture hide its brilliance in the murk of the garret? And how, in the age of transatlantic communication, could the poet still mumble sad lines to himself?

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13-08 13-08 Futurism Marinetti called for a typographic revolution against classical tradition. Harmony was rejected as a design quality because it contradicted “the leaps and burst of style running through the page.” This poem by Carlo Carrá is a good example of a Futurist poem with its use of different styles, sizes, weights and colors around the page. They gloried in the beauty of the letterforms as a work of visual art. They chose the font and style to redouble the words expressive power, such as an italic for speed and a bold for loud. The Futurists firmly broke the written word from traditional syntax and visual standards of horizontal rows.

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13-08 13-09 F. T. Marinetti: “Man who has witnessed an explosion does not stop to connect his sentences grammatically, but hurls shrieks and words at his listeners.” Marinetti urged poets to liberate themselves from servitude to grammar and open new worlds of expression. Futurism

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13-08 13-16 Futurism The futurists introduced “Concrete Poetry” to the world. Concrete Poetry is a poem that is both read and viewed at the same time. In this poem by Guillaume Apolinaire from Calligrams, 1918, he speaks of a bird, water fountain and an eye. The Futurists produced explosive and emotionally charged poetry with the typography becoming concrete and expressive in form. They broke type from the typical lines and columns, making type take the form of the idea it was presenting.

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13-08 This is a copy of Lewis Carroll’s sketch which was printed as you see the version in your course book, plate 13-13. Futurism One of the first, and most famous, uses of Concrete Poetry in a popular book was Lewis Carroll’s Mouse’s Tale in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Descending type sizes and the pictorial shape are used to construct the Mouse’s Tale. With this unexpected position of the type on the page, the viewer takes more notice of how the eye moves down the page. Here the movement of the eye interprets the motion. (A very Futuristic ideal)

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13-08 13-11 Futurism

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13-08 Futurism painting Futurism paintings had Cubism influence, but they were more interested in creating motion, than in painting still life subject matter from various angles. They strove to force the viewers eye to move swiftly across the image.

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13-08 The end of Futurism “Futurism initiated the publication of Manifestos, typographic experimentation and publicity stunts, forcing poets and graphic designers to rethink the very nature of the typographic word and its meaning.” As a movement, Futurism stalled out with the start of WWI in 1914. As artists went off to war, that they had glorified, and witnessed the brutal slaughter of so many – the youthful ideals withered in the face of the truths of that man-made war.