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  • Kenneth Haskin

Italian Futurism Vs. Italian Fascism

The turn of the 20th century brought revolution to Europe. The Euro-Russians had a movement, Constructivism, that flourished in art, music, and, architecture until the Red communists pushed out the Whites in 1917. This led to Stalin, stalinism, and some pretty horrible architecture with neo classical motifs.

Russian Constructivist architectural painting

Moscow State University

proposed statue of Lenin--taller than Lady Liberty of courst

Of the many other are movements the Italian Futurists were quite interesting. Their art was based on speed. Things were to move fast and forward--like the new cars, planes and motorcycles-- though they only moved at around 35-65 miles per hour at the time. These artists wanted to capture the danger and motion of modern machines. Umberto Boccioni was a sculptor and painter who tried to show movement in his work.

Boccioni scupture

Boccioni painting

Unfortunately Futurist speed did not make it into Italian architecture. Nothing was really built in the manner of motion. One architect, Antonio St. Elia made beautiful sketches before tragically dying in WWI. They were powerful but very heavy and static. His works looked like more like Dams and Power stations than something in motion.

A St. Elian sketch

Once Mussolini's fascist movement took over the architecture became brutal, minimal, and neo classical. It seems that revolution brings motion but eventually the more familiar symbolism of "The State" come back to weigh things down. Futurism was lost to history and the fascists.

House of Fascism by Giuseppe Turangni in Como, Itally

I do not even care to label this mess

For more on Russian Constructivism follow this to the MOMA exhibition in December:

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