One of the most important artistic avant-gardes of the 20th century was that of futurism, the one that proposed a break with the traditional observation of nature and human life to portray phenomena generated by technology , speed and machines.
Origin and reason of birth
Like all avant-garde and art schools that emerged in the 20th century, Futurism was directly and clearly linked to the era in which it was born. It is considered that its appearance on the European artistic scene occurred in the late 1900s, being that by the 1910s some of its exponents were already prominent in galleries and exhibitions.
This school had its greatest strength in Italy, where the 20th century saw a significant number of factories and automobile companies emerge. Recall that speed and transport machines have been a clear center of interest for futurists, so their birth was not isolated from the context. The futurist painters and sculptors showed a special admiration and wonder for the shapes of the gears, the operation of the machines and the movement of the different parts of a machine.
Manifesto and ideology of a novel avant-garde
Futurism, as we pointed out, arose in the midst of societies that began very slowly but hopelessly to change and in whose daily lives the presence of machines was inexorable. In this way, these artists, among whom we must mention the ideologist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, were attracted to portray in their pictorial and sculptural works those phenomena observable in the daily life of large cities.
Away from nature and its phenomena, the futurists placed special emphasis on showing the shapes, silhouettes, colors, dynamism that was generated in simple things such as an engine, a bicycle, a working car or a machine in a factory. This became very visible in paintings where what stands out is the dynamics of the plane, the same happening in sculpture that on numerous occasions escaped the traditional limits of academic sculpture.
The fight against the past, the essence of futurism
As happened with many avant-gardes, Futurism had an ideological approach that surpassed the artistic elements in themselves and that was related to philosophical and ontological approaches regarding the human being and his existence.
Futurists demonstrated in writings and manifests their contempt for the past: looking back was synonymous with backwardness and primitivism. His desire was to build, from the observation of technology, a look into the future that would stage human advancement and his endless quest to excel