Art With A Stigma: Italian Futurism in NYC
Friday, February 21, 2014
"We intend to destroy museums, libraries, academies of every sort, and to fight against moralism, feminism..."
That is part of the legendary Italian Futurism manifesto, published in 1909 by Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti on the French newspaper Le Figaro. Even though the movement wanted to destroy museums, its work is now at a major one in New York, the Guggenheim, for its first comprehensive retrospective in the United States.
Although the movement ended in 1944, a retrospective is happening only now because Futurism had a stigma attached to it. WNYC's art critic Deborah Solomon says Marinetti denounced museums, women, film, institutions, and even pasta.
"It comes packaged with the silliest ideas in the history of art," she said. "The futurists sometimes can sound like a group of high school punks."
Solomon adds some of the art is better than the ideas, especially the early works.
Still, the Guggenheim show ends with what is considered the biggest criticism against Futurism: some of the art was propaganda for Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
"That explains why Futurism never went anywhere and why the Italians kind of felt out of the story of modern art in the latter 20th century," said Solomon.