Futurism is an avant-garde art and social movement that originated in Italy. The key document for the development of futurism is the Manifesto of Futurism, published by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in 1909. Several manifestos were created in the wake of futurist philosophy and all of them shared a common attitude towards the past. This was based on an uncompromising rejection of the tradition while glorifying the cult of youth, industrialization, speed, technology, and modernization, often emphasizing the violent component of the struggle for cultural and wider social change. Futurism developed in literature as well as in painting, sculpture, architecture, industrial design, music, film, dance, and fashion.
The characteristics of futurism include: the rejection of traditional value frameworks in the field of culture, ie striving for art freed from the weight of its past, highlighting youth as a key capital of social development, technology, modernization of urban spaces, the dynamism of industrial plants, objects such as cars or airplanes.
Famous and notable futurism artists can be found below:
1. Umberto Boccioni
Umberto Boccioni (Italian, 19 October 1882, Reggio Calabria – 17 August 1916, Verona) was a painter and sculptor, as well as a leading theorist of the Futurist Movement. Boccioni studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. In addition to the Manifesto of Futurist painters, Boccioni published Futurist painting and sculpture (plastic dynamism) in 1914, which forms the basis for understanding futurist visual poetics. His works can be found in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
2. Giacomo Balla
Giacomo Balla (Italian, 18 July 1871, Turin – 1 March 1958, Rome) was a painter, caricaturist, poet, and designer. Balla studied at the University of Turin. Balla introduced the technique of divisionism into a futurist painting by influencing Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini. His painting is characterized by the study of movement and light. Balla’s works are displayed in The Albright – Knox Art Gallery in New York, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London.
3. Carlo Carrà
Carlo Carrà (Italian, February 11, 1881, Quargnento – April 13, 1966, Milan) was one of the leading figures of Italian futurism. He studied at the Brera Academy in Milan and was one of the signatories of the Manifesto of Futurist Painters. He later developed metaphysical painting with Giorgio de Chirico. His works are in the collections of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan.
4. Gino Severini
Gino Severini (Italian, April 7, 1883, Cortona – 26 February 1966, Paris) was a painter and theorist, in the later phase of his work he was engaged in both frescoes and mosaics. Severini studied at the Roma Fine Art Institute. He was the organizer of the first futurist exhibition held outside Italy at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris, in February 1912. After the Futurist movement, Severini became part of the “return to order” movement and engaged in metaphysical painting. His works can be found in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, the Museo del Novecento in Milan, the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, and the Baltimore Museum of Art in Maryland.
5. Gerardo Dottori
Gerardo Dottori (Italian, 11 November 1884, Perugia – 13 June 1977, Perugia) was a painter and theorist. Dottori earned his diploma from the Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia. Dottori founded the Futurist magazine Griffa! In 1920, he was one of the signatories of the Futurist Manifesto of Aeropainting, published in 1929. Landscape painting of scenes from Umbria is the most recognizable part of Dottori’s work. Gerardo was also among the first futurists to paint sacral compositions. His works can be found in The Civic Museum at the Palazzo Dela Pena in Perugia as well as in The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London.
6. Fortunato Depero
Fortunato Depero (Italian, 30 March 1892, Fondo – 29 November 1960, Rovereto) was a futurist painter, sculptor, writer, and graphic designer. Together with Giacomo Balla in 1915, he wrote the manifesto Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe. He was engaged in the production of toys and furniture in the futurist style and founded the House of Futurist Art in Rovereto in 1919. Most of his works are kept in the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto.
7. Joseph Stella
Joseph Stella (Italian American, June 13, 1877, Muro Lucano – November 5, 1946, New York) was a painter whose work is characterized by depictions of industrial America. He studied at the New York School of Art and then stayed in Europe, where he met many avant-garde artists, among whom, in addition to the Cubists, he was most influenced by the Futurists. It is the characteristic combination of cubist and futurist painting experiments that will determine Stella’s precisionist expression. His works are displayed in the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven.
8. Aleksandra Ekster
Aleksandra Ekster (Belarusian, 18 January 1882 Białystok – 17 March 1949, Paris) was a painter and designer. She studied painting at the Kyiv Art School as well as at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Montparnasse. By combining cubist and futurist art formulas, Ekster has achieved exceptional success in the field of theatrical costume design in both Russia and France. Ekster’s works can be found at the M.T. Abraham Foundation in Paris.
9. Valentine de Saint-Point
Valentine de Saint-Point (French, 16 February 1875, Lyon – 28 March 1953, Cairo) was a poet, painter, playwright, art critic, and journalist. In 1912 Saint-Point published the Manifesto of Futurist Woman. A year later, Saint-Point published another manifesto, the Futurist Manifesto of Lust, in which she also re-examined the role of women in futuristic philosophy. In addition to the art theory, she is the author of numerous novels, poems, and plays.
10. Elena Guro
Elena Guro (Russian, January 10, 1877, Saint Petersburg – May 6, 1913, Uusikirkko) was a painter, playwright, and poet. Guro studied at the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts in St Petersburg. Guro joined the Russian futurists very early and participated in the creation of one of the first futurist publications Trap for Judges, which was published in 1910. In addition to painting, illustration, and writing, Guro also dealt with art theory and color theory. Many of her works are kept in the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art in Moscow.
11. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti (Italian, 22 December 1876 Alexandria – 2 December 1944 Bellagio) was a poet, playwright, writer, editor, art theorist, and founder of the Futurist movement. He studied at the Sorbonne where he graduated in 1894, and later in Italy where he graduated in law at the University of Pavia in 1899. He was the author of the first Futurist Manifesto published in Le Figaro, on 20 February 1909. Marinetti was also co-author of the Fascist Manifesto, published in 1919.
12. Ivo Pannaggi
Ivo Pannaggi (Italian, Aug. 28, 1901 Macerata– May 11, 1981, Macerata) was a painter and architect. He studied architecture in Rome and Florence. Pannaggi was active in the Futurist movement and later within the Bauhaus. In 1922, together with Vinicio Paladini, he published the Manifesto of Futurist Mechanical Art, which paved the way for a new reading of the philosophy of Futurism. Between 1932 and 1933, Pannaggi worked within the Bauhaus. His works are kept in the collections of the Civic Museum of Palazzo Mosca in Macerata, Yale University Art Gallery, Galleria Studio di Arte Moderna in Rome, and the Stedelijk Museum.
13. Amadeo de Souza Cardoso
Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso (Portuguese, 14 November 1887 Mancelos – 25 October 1918 Espinho) was a painter. He studied at the Superior School of Fine Arts of Lisbon. He later studied in Paris at the Académie des Beaux-Arts and the Viti Academy of the Catalan painter Anglada Camarasa. He is one of the first Portuguese modernists in whose work the influences of Cubism and Futurism are noticed. His paintings are kept in the Art Institute of Chicago and The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.
14. Luigi De Giudici
Luigi De Giudici (Italian, December 12, 1887, Pavia di Udine – February 16, 1955, Venice) was a painter. De Giudici developed artistically in Venice, where he often exhibited. His work has been influenced by both Futurism and Expressionism.
15. Emilio Pettoruti
Emilio Pettoruti (Argentine, October 1, 1892, La Plata – October 16, 1971, Paris) was a painter. Pettoruti studied at the Drawing School in the Museum of Natural History in La Plata to later embark on a study trip to Italy that would be crucial to his artistic development. There he became acquainted with the avant-garde tendencies of Futurism and Cubism, as well as with the heritage of Renaissance painting. In his work, he went through many phases from Cubo-futurism, the return to order to complete abstraction. His works are part of the collection of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires.
16. Alexander Bogomazov
Alexander Bogomazov (Russian, March 26, 1880, Yampil – June 3, 1930, Kyiv) was a painter and art theoretician. He was educated at the Kyiv Art School. During the period 1913-1914, he studied Italian Futurists and published the essay Painting and Elements. Bogomazov was the co-founder of the Ukrainian Agitprop Movement. From 1922 to 1930 he taught at the Kyiv Art Academy. Bogomazov was also a founding member of the Association of the Revolutionary Masters of Ukraine. Bogomazov’s works are in the collection of the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kyiv.
17. David Bomberg
David Bomberg (British, 5 December 1890, Birmingham – 19 August 1957, London) was a painter. Bomberg studied at the Westminster School of Art and later at the Slade School of Art. His pre-war work was characterized by a strong connection with the ideas and poetics of Futurism and Cubism. This is why Bomberg is associated with the Vorticism movement, which he never officially joined. In Bomberg’s post-war painting, the dominant tendency is to return to order. His works are in the collections of Tate Gallery in London and Pallant House Gallery in Chichester.
18. Wanda Wulz
Wanda Wulz (Italian, 25 July 1903, Trieste – 16 April 1984, Trieste) was an experimental photographer. Wanda Wulz was one of the few women members of the Futurist Movement. Her most common preoccupation was portrait photography. In the late 1930s, Wulz left the Futurist Group. Her works are part of the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
19. Stenberg brothers
Vladimir Stenberg (Russian, April 4, 1899, Moscow – May 1, 1982, Moscow) and Georgii Stenberg (Russian, October 7, 1900, Moscow – October 15, 1933, Moscow) were designers, sculptors, costume designers, architects, set designers, teachers. The Stenberg brothers attended the Stroganov School of Arts and Crafts in Moscow between 1912 and 1917. They later continued their education at the Moscow Free Studios (Svomas). The Stenberg brothers were founders of the Society of Young Artists and later members of the Institute of Artistic Culture (INKhUK). Between 1929 and 1932 the brothers taught at the Architecture-Construction Institute in Moscow. With their avant-garde solutions, the Stenberg brothers transformed the design in the field of scenography and costumes for theatre, as well as in the field of propaganda decoration and, above all, film posters. Their works are part of the collection of The Russian State Library and the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
20. Sante Monachesi
Sante Monachesi (Italian, January 10, 1910, Macerata- February 28, 1991, Rome), was a painter. Monachesi studied at the Experimental film center or Italian National film school in Rome. He was one of the most important representatives of Aeropainting alongside Gerardo Dottori. Monachesi was a member of the Scuola novel movement and the founder of the Futurist Movement of Marche in 1932. His works are part of the collection of the Mario Rimoldi Modern Art Museum in Cortina d’Ampezzo and the Nasher Museum of Art in Durham.
21. Guilherme de Santa-Rita
Guilherme de Santa Rita (Portuguese, 31 October 1889, Lisbon – 29 April 1918, Lisbon), was a painter. He first attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Lisbon and later went to Paris where he continued his education at the École des Beaux-Arts. As a pioneer of Futurism in Portugal, Guilherme de Santa Rita encountered intense disapproval from the general public. He was one of the founders of the magazine Portugal Futurista. A small number of his surviving works are in the collection of the Chiado Museum in Lisbon.
22. Primo Conti
Primo Conti (Italian 16 October 1900, Florence – 12 November 1988, Fiesole) was a painter and poet. In 1917, Conti became a member of the Futurist Movement. Later, his work developed in the direction of metaphysical painting. His works are kept in the Museo Primo Conti in Fiesole.
23. Antonio Sant’Elia
Antonio Sant’Elia (Italian, 30 April 1888, Como – 10 October 1916, Gorizia) was an architect and the most important theorist of the Futurist movement in the field of architecture. The Manifesto of Futurist Architecture, published in August 1914, is attributed to Sant’Elia. Although he did not leave behind any completed architectural work, his series of drawings The New City became one of the most important documents for the development of modern skyscraper architecture. His work also influenced the film, where Fritz Lang’s Metropolis from 1927 stands out as an important example.
24. Marisa Mori
Marisa Mori (Italian, March 9, 1900, Florence – March 6, 1985, Florence) was a painter and printmaker. Mori joined the Futurist Movement in 1931. She participated in the creation of the famous book The Futurist Cookbook, published in 1932. Her painting developed in the direction of Aeropainting. After leaving the Futurist Group due to their approach to fascist ideas in the late 1930s, Marisa Mori returned to traditional painting and sculptural forms. Her paintings are part of the Galleria del Laocoonte collection in Rome.
25. Stanley Cursiter
Stanley Cursiter (Scottish, 29 April 1887, Kirkwall – 22 April 1976, Stromness) was a painter. He was educated at Edinburgh College of Art. During the pre-war period, his painting was greatly influenced by Cubism and Futurism. After the war, he returned to the realistic manner of painting. His works are part of the collection of the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh
26. Carlos Filipe Porfírio
Carlos Filipe Porfírio (Portuguese, March 29, 1895, Faro – November 25, 1970, Faro) was a poet, painter, filmmaker, and ethnologist. Carlos Filipe Porfírio studied at the School of Fine Arts in Lisbon. He was the editor of the column “Futurismo – Gente Nova” in the newspaper O Heraldo since 1917. During the 1940s he made three feature films. Later he also founded the Museu Etnográfico Regional de Faro, which opened in 1962.
27. Enzo Mainardi
Enzo Mainardi (Italian, 30 July 1898, Ticengo – 16 November 1983, Cremona) was a painter and poet. Enzo Mainardi has been a prominent member of the Futurist Movement since 1914. In 1919 he published his first collection of poems. His poems were very popular among the Futurists. His painting developed on the trail of Cubo-futuristic geometrization.
28. Mario Sironi
Mario Sironi (Italian, May 12, 1885, Sassari – August 13, 1961, Milan) was a painter, sculptor, and designer.He studied at The Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma. As is the case with Gino Severini and Umberto Boccioni, Mario Sironi was strongly influenced by Giacomo Ball, who introduced them all to divisionist painting. In 1914 Sironi exhibited for the first time with the Futurists at the Galleria Sprovieri in Rome. After the war, Sironi turned to metaphysical painting. As part of a wider phenomenon of a return to order in painting, Sironi was one of the founders of the Novecento Italiano movement. As a supporter of Mussolini, he made drawings for the fascist newspapers Il Popolo d’Italia and La Rivista Illustrata del Popola d’Italia. In the same political climate, he created the mural Italy Between the Arts and Sciences. His works are in the collections of The Museo del Novecento in Milan, the Guggenheim Collection in Venice, The Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, and the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris.
29. Natalia Goncharova
Natalia Goncharova (Russian, French July 3, 1881, Nagaevo – October 17, 1962, Paris) was a painter, costume design, writer, set designer. Goncharova studied at the Moscow Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. Due to the modernist approach to painting in 1910, a group of students, including Natalia Goncharova, were expelled from Konstantin Korovin’s portrait class. It was these students who formed the Jack of Diamonds – the avant-garde Moscow exhibition group and later The Donkey’s Tail. Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov were leading artists of Russian Futurism and they developed Rayonism – one of the first movements in Russia to advocate the ideas of abstract art. Goncharova worked for the famous Moscow designer Nadezhda Lamonava and designed costumes for the Ballets Russes. Her works are housed in The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Gallery in London.
30. Mikhail Larionov
Mikhail Larionov (Russian, June 3, 1881, Tiraspol – May 10, 1964, Paris) was a painter. He studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, from where he was suspended on several occasions. His early painting developed under the influence of Post-Impressionism and Neo-Primitivism. Together with his partner Natalia Goncharova, he was part of the radical art groups Jack of Diamonds and later Donkey’s Tail. Together with Natalia Goncharova, he developed the artistic direction of Rayonism. In his later life he worked for the Ballets Russes in Paris. His works are in the collections of The Russian Museum in St.Petersburg and in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
31. Luigi Russolo
Luigi Russolo (Italian, 30 April 1885, Portogruaro – 4 February 1947, Laveno – Mombello) was a painter and composer. Russolo was one of the most important members of the Futurist Group in the field of music. He wrote the manifesto The Art of Noises in 1913, opening the question of the capacity of modern man to produce and listen to sounds that are based on the relation between new instruments- Intonarumori. In the field of painting, Russolo successfully experimented with the Neo-impressionist technique of divisionism together with the futurist themes of dynamism and fluidity of movement. His works are in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and in the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris.