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Futurism (Italian: Futurismo) was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasized speed, technology, youth, and violence, and objects such as the car, the aeroplane, and the industrial city. Started as Italian phenomenon but there were parallel movements in Russia, England, and elsewhere.
Futurism looks like an animated version of Cubism because of the “movement” which it gave its images. Cubism contributed to the formation of Italian Futurism's artistic style. The Futurists did not like the Cubists’ focus on inanimate objects to be found in an art studio. They were interested in what was going on in life outside the art studio.
The machines of modern life, especially those with speed attached to them, such as trains and automobiles, attracted them. While Cubists broke apart or “fractured” objects in their paintings, the Futurists fractured energy and motion. Cubism gave the Futurists the method for analyzing energy in paintings and expressing dynamism.
The Futurists stuck to the colors of the Post Impressionists, which fairly leaped off the canvas, rather than going with the drab colors generally used by Cubists.
For those artists who stuck with Futurism beyond its Big Time in the earliest part of the 20th Century, the decades showed change in focus: 1910s, fractured elements; 1920s, machines, and 1930s, aerial imagery.
“Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting” states that, "On account of the persistency of an image upon the retina, moving objects constantly multiply themselves; their form changes like rapid vibrations, in their mad career. Thus a running horse has not four legs, but twenty, and their movements are triangular.”
In the Futurist paintings, there are more than the usual number of “limbs” or “wings” because they are blurred and used to suggest motion. This is also how animation and movies work. They too are based upon many still images moving very fast.
Some used Futurism to convey political beliefs. Today Futurism is looked at as a visual style with little reference to its long ago politics. Its politics were best forgotten as they tended toward Fascism, bigotry, sexism and a love of war and violence. It was the only twentieth century avant-garde movement to adhere to far right politics.
Because of Futurism’s association with the Fascists, it finally died a complete death after WWII since the Fascists had been thoroughly defeated. The movement had waxed and waned in the decades up to that point.
Futurism remains a part of modern Western culture. The emphasis on youth, speed, power and technology are fully within present day cinema. Ridley Scott designed his film “Blade Runner” around Futurist art.