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Created and produced by Sophie Taylor Charlotte Causer Nadine Grant Lukasz Kurasinski Andy Browne Sam Nightingale Michael Harrison For the Arts University Bournemouth All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any other information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Printed and bound in Bournemouth.





“DESTROY the museums, the libraries, every type of academy the great crowds, shaken by work, by pleasure or by rioting. We will glorify war – the world’s only hygiene – militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman” - Futurist Manifesto






What was Futurism about? Key Players



Painting Sculpture






Graphics and Typography



Film and Performance



Suprematism and Vorticism





This book aims to explore and discuss Futurism, an art and design movement, which was established in Italy 1909. It will discuss main elements of the movement such as art, design and media, adding in comparisons of other art movements such as Suprematism and Vorticism. Key players such as Filippo Tommaso Marinetti will be a large contribution in this area and the information will aim to reveal their identity and job role in Futurism. The book shall also examine the history and background of Italy in the 1900’s with political, social and cultural context. For this book to effectively explore and discuss Futurism it must first investigate the aspects of the movement as a whole; the origins of the movement, the key figureheads, the work produced and the work of similar movements i.e. Suprematism. The dissection of each movement will outline the influences and

beliefs of the artists and designers involved and how this affected the work produced. The links between Futurism, Suprematism and Vorticism will be outlined; their place of origin, styles of design, how the key figures influenced their movements and how they helped to influence others. Futurism originated from Italy, Suprematism from Russia and Vorticism in Britain. The contrast between the origins of these three art movements allows for great analysis and comparison of the work and political figureheads who were driving them. After gathering reliable research from a range of resources including books, newspapers, magazines and the Internet. Each separate movement will be deconstructed to accurately find the events that kick started each of them and the key figures that drove them forward, producing the work they did. After every aspect of each movement is analysed these can then be summarised into the main focal points; who started the movement, the most influential pieces of work produced, what influenced the artist’s and designer’s work and how each movement influenced other similar movements.



‘’There is no longer beauty except in the struggle. No more masterpieces without an aggressive character. Poetry must be a violent assault against the unknown forces in order to overcome them and prostrate them before men� - Marinetti



This chapter focuses on the historical background of Italy 1900 and explores why Italy, in particular Futurists strived to joined World War 1. It also presents the economical results of war and the political aims of Fascists. In 1910 Italy had an underdeveloped industry and was divided into many fractions. Italy was weak and vulnerable compared to greater Empires such as Britain. The Italians had imperialistic dreams of rebuilding the Roman Empire, incorporating that with the strong nationalist belief of Marinetti, together with other artists they aimed to create an entire new society. Publishing manifestos was a feature of the Futurism movement. Included in the piece states Futurists “glorified war� and they believed that only war could unite Italy and make them

strong and powerful once again. In 1914 during the Futurist art movement World War I broke out. It was an extremely bloody war that lasted until 1919. After the war Italy suffered several crises. These consisted of food shortages, mass-unemployment and homelessness. The peace settlement left Italians extremely dissatisfied taking away many dreams and hopes of a new life. They wanted a strong leader who could mobilize them and improve their living conditions. Middle-class university students and other intellectuals joined for nationalist and anti-democratic sentiment. They wanted somebody who would appeal to their sense of nationalism leading to the rise of Benito Mussolini in 1922.Fascism is a radical, authoritarian, nationalist political ideology. With the concept of totalitarianism, Mussolini and the Fascist regime set an agenda of improving the Italian culture and society based on ancient Rome, personal dictatorship, and some futurist aspects of Italian intellectuals and artists. After coming to power, Mussolini gradually moved towards a dictatorship. Between 1925 and 1926 he removed all non-Fascists from his cabinet, dissolved opposition parties and independent labour unions. He banned newspapers that were critical of him and established a secret police to root out and crush those who were opposed to Fascism. In 1927 he


Benito Mussolini 1925


Benito Mussolini 1922 - 1943


Il Fascismo Scientifico 1926


launched the ‘battle of the births’ to increase Italy’s population. It consisted of propaganda and some financial incentives to try and persuade women to have more children. Nevertheless the Italian birth rate continued to fall. The population of Italy did increase but only because of a fall in the death rate. Many Italian Futurists supported Fascism in the hope of modernizing a country. Mussolini’s main objective was to boost the economy. He tried to stimulate industries by controlling them. Italy had a lack of industrial resources, which only deepened the problem. Many people thought that Italian fascism and their control over industries had a negative impact on their development and made them even weaker than before the war. In 1930 worldwide depression began, initiated by the Wall Street Crash in 24th October 1929, which was known as Black Thursday. The industrial segment had the biggest impact and was damaged deeply


by the depression. It forced the Italian government to take over many companies to avoid bankruptcy. The Fascists put Italy into economical depression causing plans of war provoked by Mussolini to stop the misery. Mussolini wanted a nation of warriors to integrate Fascism into all aspects of life. Many Italian Futurists supported Fascism in the hope of modernizing a country. Propaganda slogans were promoting biased words such as “Believe! Obey! Fight!” and “Mussolini is always right”. War was glorified with the slogan “A minute on the battlefield is worth a lifetime of peace”. Individualism was rejected in favour of group identity. Under such a totalitarian society, only Fascists would be considered “true Italians” and membership and endorsement of the Fascist Party was necessary, those who did not swear allegiance to Fascism were banished from public life and could not be employed.



“There is neither painting, nor

sculpture, nor music, nor poetry.

The only truth is creation.� - Umberto Boccioni



Futurism was an art and design movement founded in 1909, which glorified and emphasised themes in relation to contemporary concepts of the future including speed, technology, youth and violence. Futurism influenced art movements such as Art Deco, Constructivism, Surrealism, Dada and many others. Futurists practised in every medium of art, including painting, graphic design, interior design, architecture, sculpture, ceramics, theatre, film, fashion and even gastronomy. Marinetti, who founded the movement, was a determined man who believed the world needed transforming into a modern life. Futurist’s aims were to ‘transform the mentality of an anachronistic society’. According to his sources, “Futurism was born as a direct consequence of a 1908 car crash in which attempting to avoid two cyclists, he crashed his

Bugatti and went head over heels into a ditch” (Graphic Design History).The experience led directly to the first futurist manifesto ‘Manifeste de fondation du Futurisme’ written by himself, in which was published in Paris 1909 in the French paper Le Figaro. This bold manifesto stated that Futurists should “fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice”. It also emphasized ‘the beauty of speed’ and the desire to ‘glorify war — the only cure for the world’ key elements of Futurism. Marinetti’s ideas were first extended to art in the 1910 manifesto and later spread to all avenues of life to promote a modern ‘futurist culture’ which then involved language and punctuation. In 1918 Marinetti founded the Futurist Political Party, which become part of National Fascist Party. He supported Italian Fascism until his death in 1944. Futurists association with Fascism brought them official acceptance in Italy and the ability to carry out large projects based around art. Another key artist was Umberto Boccioni, an Italian painter, sculptor, printmaker and writer who first met the other members in Paris. He helped shape the movement’s aesthetic as a theorist as well as through his art. Previous to this, Boccioni produced commercial work and was unclear on what direction his


Futurist Group Carlo CarrĂ 

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti Luigi Russolo Gino Severini

Umberto Boccioni 1912


Umberto Boccioni Milan, Italy 1914


Gino Severini Milan, Italy 1914

Carlo Carra Milan, Italy 1914

Giacomo Balla

Luigi Russolo

Aleksandra Aleksandrovna




Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy



work was going in. In 1907 Boccioni began thinking ‘futuristically’ and stated ‘I feel that I want to paint the new, the fruit of our industrial age’. After meeting the others he co-wrote the 1910 manifesto and began to adopt Futuristic elements in his art. In 1911 whilst exhibiting in Paris his painting came under attack being labeled as ‘sentimental and puerile’ by the influential French critic Apollinaire. Boccioni had a short futuristic career, and died in 1916 during a routine exercise with his cavalry regiment. Whilst in Paris, Carlo Carra met Boccioni along with Russolo who both later helped write the 1910 manifesto. Carra was an interesting character as despite his clear involvement and public commitment to futuristic ideas (i.e. the signing of the manifestos) he continued to use other art movements as inspiration such as Divisionism and Cubism. Severini was another signatory of the 1912 manifesto. Despite signing the document, Severini he had a gentler nature than the rest of the Futurists,


and therefore focused less on the attack of feminists and instead preferred the element of speed and the ‘violent rejection of the past’. Severini adored his home Paris, so acted as a correspondent for the futurists back in Italy. His immersion in the Parisian culture led to many of his paintings representing joyful Parisian life rather than uprisings and riots, such as the famous ‘The dance of the PanPan’, a painting labeled as “one of the most important works to come from a futurist brush to date”. Giacomo Balla was a self-taught artist who upon returning from visiting Paris in 1900 then taught both Severini and Boccioni. Balla’s early influences were the Italian Divisionist’s, and his early paintings were mainly portraits and landscapes. He later became increasingly interested in painting modern industrial life and signed the Technical Manifesto of futurist painting in 1910. Despite signing it, Balla only took an active part in the movement in 1912 when he flourished and ‘rapidly became one of the most original and inventive of the futurist painters’.



“One of the main causes of our artistic decline

lies beyond doubt in the

separation of art and science� - Gino Severini



The early stages of Futurism, Futurist paintings were mainly focused on abstract expressionism, as it was the height of Italian artists, due to works of the Milanese painters. It focused primarily with the expression of emotion. Boccioni adapted to this style, which is shown in works such as Mourning. Similar to this in a sense that the technique is based more on Divisionism rather than ‘Futurist’ is Russolo’s Perfume and Carra’s Nocturne in the Piazza Beccaria. Soon after this phase, Futurist paintings caught on to the influence of Balla and paid attention to social themes, both in terms of the tensions, disruptions and riots of the time of social upheaval in Italy. For example Umberto Boccioni riot

in the Galleria 1910 and The City Rises were his attempt at a great synthesis of labour, light and movement. Divisionism in paintings was the practice of separating colour into individual dots or strokes of pigment. It formed the technical bases for Neo-Impressionism. Following the rules of contemporary colour theory, Neo-Impressionist artists such as Georges Seurat applied contrasting dots of colour side by side so that, when seen from a distance, these dots would blend creating a whole image. As seen in The Riot in Galleria 1910 by Umberto Boccioni, this painting was deliberately Divisionist. The lights and the rush of figures moving inwards are the devices for the Manifesto. It gives the illusion of placing the observer in the centre of the picture. Comparing these paintings. Carra confined himself to the rather less intense sensations creating pieces such as City Streets and his Leaving the Theatre. In Leaving the Theatre the idea of the muffled figures tilting away from the centre of the piece gives the audience sensations of being in the middle of the dispersing crowd. The blurred effect gives the sense of movement, fleeting away in which adds to the effect of putting yourself in the painting. In contrast to this, Russolo was the first of the group to use precise images from the Manifesto in his work. His Memories of the Night (painted early 1911) was an unwieldy picture of sorts, though it was the first real attempt for putting the ideas of the Technical Manifesto into practice.


Carlo Carra

Night At Piazza Beccaria 1910


The images were superimposed on one another and he uses a ‘psychological perspective’ encouraged by Ardengo Soffici. From this Futurists introduced their art movement to France with their impact on Cubism, later to become CuboFuturisum. Seen in the Umberto Boccioni painting Dynamism Of The Football Player and State of Mind. It displays the combination of both styles by transforming rigid and stable, to energetic, dynamic power. This conflict of both styles is also visualized in Boccioni’s Materia (Matter) and Carlo Carra’s Simultaneity. They both show how their style was affected an altered by Cubism, showing the search to find a balanced combination that works for them. The first fruits of Futurist painting were seen at the enormous Free Exhibition in Milan in April 1911. Umberto Boccioni exhibited a series of paintings called the ‘State of Mind; Those Farewells, Those Who Stay and Those Who Go.’ The notion of ‘State of Mind’ like ‘Universal Dynamism’ was shared among the Futurist painters. They were an ambitious attempt to shake of dependence on descriptive reality and to capture the essence of emotion by forcing ‘colours and forms … to express themselves’. Boccioni painted two versions the first in early summer 1911 and the second in the late autumn. The second version showed his clear inspiration gained from Paris and displays the combination of Cubism grid and structure with the emotive directional lines of Futurist painting. From this, in a more complex ‘state of mind’ painting Severini creates Memories of a Journey, which illustrated a more Futurist


theme. Gino Severini was the first to use the technique of freewording painting, in such compositions as The Snake Dance (reproduced in Lacerba 1, July 1914), but it lent itself well to the purpose of political agitation which absorbed the energies of the Futurists in 1914, and its propaganda possibilities were almost immediately exploited to support the Futurists anti-Austrian rallies and interventionist demonstrations in the months of frenzied political excitements between the outbreak of the war and Italy’s intervention in it. (Rye, J. 1972 Pg. 90-92). “We Futurists strive with the force of intuition to insert ourselves into the midst of things in such a fashion that our “self” forms a single complex with their identities” (Carlo Carra. Futurism Pg. 55) Throughout artists strived to display their affection and interest in speed and noise. This passion is shown in their Manifesto. Paintings such as study of Dynamism of a Cyclist by Boccioni, shows his search for a new way of expression of movement and speed. Giamcomo Balla had an analytical study of movement in Leash in Motion and Rhythm of a Violinist in 1912. His study of objects in motion came together with his quasi-scientific investigation of the construction of light in series of abstract works, which he called Iridescent Interpenetrations. Balla also had an interest in investigating other Futurist themes especially Motorcars. This then lead to the production of Abstract Speed –wake of a speeding automobile where he represented diagrammatic expressions of velocity.


Umberto Boccioni

Riot in the Galleria 1910


Carlo Carra

Leaving the Thratre 1910

Umberto Boccioni The City Rises 1910


Umberto Boccioni The Farewells 1911

Umberto Boccioni Those Who Go 1911


Umberto Boccioni Those Who Stay 1911



Umberto Boccioni Unique Forms of

Continuity in Space



Furthermore during the movement, Umberto Boccioni showed an interest in Sculpture and published his Manifesto of Futurist Sculpture in April 1912. He believed in emerging Futurist themes with various art media’s to expand the movement and sculpture was one of them. He strived to represent movement and speed through clay and composition. Pieces such as Unique Forms of Continuity in Space display his attempt at constructing a man in movement. . He used quick, swift shapes with sharp edges to convey the movement of blur as well as the strong legs to show the muscular structure of the man and the power he holds. From this Boccioni gave up sculpture in 1913 and returned to painting.



Architecture played an important role in Futurism as well. The futurists did not believe in a lasting city. They wished to recreate Italy over and over, redesigning civilization creating their own culture and generation of style. As they did not believe in history, they aimed to recreate society repeatedly so nothing stays the same, everything modern and up to date. Starting with redesigning the architecture. Antonio Sant’Elia was the movement’s only architect, who died before anything was built. He left behind his Manifesto of Futurist Architecture, which consisted of ideas, which were created to have an important influence on twentieth century architecture. His idea consisted of a ‘New City’. He designed to serve the needs of a modern industrial society. His buildings had been designed to have external lifts, because as he fore told, ‘lifts must no longer hideaway in the stairwells, but the stairs – now useless – must be abolished, and the lifts must swarm up the facades like serpents of glass and iron’. Also he condemned the use of applied decoration. The beauty

of the modern building would lie only in ‘the inherent beauty of its line and its plastic relief.’ He said the ‘New City’ would be organized round a complex network of roads and communication systems on several levels; streets would ‘plunge storeys deep into the earth, gathering up the traffic of the metropolis, connected for necessary transfers to metal catwalks and high speed conveyor belts’ and held that although the city of the future would be ‘extraordinarily brutish in its mechanical simplicity’, architecture is not ‘an arid combination of practically and utility, but remains art, that is synthesis and expression”.


Antonio Sant’Elia Futurist Architecture Sketches 1914



Futurist Architecture Manifesto 1914



“In antiquity there was only silence. In the nineteenth

century, with the invention of the machine, Noise was

born. Today, Noise triumphs

and reigns supreme over the sensibility of men�.

- Luigi Russolo



The Futurist explored typography with the creation of Giovanni Papini magazine, Lacerba. Although the editors made the contents of the magazine to shock and provoke, the Futurist typographers defiantly went along with the crazy vibe. The futurists made the magazines typographic chaos, mixing letter sizes and layout. You can see this in Filippo Marinetti Zang Tumb Tumb Lacerba. The futurist recovering from the First World War unveiled a book designed by Fortunate Depero. Published in 1927, the book was not as chaotic as the Lacerba designs, however it still had futurist characteristics. Speed and power can evidently be seen with the words ‘deoero futurista’ in capitals striking across the page. Fortunate Depero also shows the futurist wanting to get away from the old and classical style

by putting the book together with two massive bolts. This shows the futurist industrial and resourceful way of thinking. Wyndham Lewis shared many views with the Futurist movement and became heavily influenced after Marinette’s visit to London in 1913. He too wanted to change England’s conservative views and hoped young people would revolutionise art and society for the better. In 1914 Lewis published a first issue of his journal Blast. At the same time he named his new art movement Vorticsm. Lewis went on the create many different posters, taking on the Futurist style in his design. You can see this in his journal, Blast: War Number, no 2, which emulates the movement and power by having strong lines of man machine soldier marching. The magazine has an extraordinarily bright pink colour with the title BLAST written across the cover in huge, bold, black letters. The first section of the journal starts with a sequence of twenty-odd pages which are presented like a manifesto. Each page has a dramatic piece of graphic design, in which the editors ‘Blast’ and ‘Bless’ different things - often these are the same things. It is sardonic and humorous to read, but has a great vitriolic tone as well. It listed the things that the Vorticists loved and hated.


Wyndham Lewis Blast

War Number July 1915


Wyndham Lewis Vorticist journal Blast No. 1: Review of the Great English Vortex, p.28, June 20, 1914


Wyndham Lewis Front Cover Blast 1914.


Fortunato Depero Depero Futurista Front Cover Inside Spread 1913-1927


Alexander Rodtschenko, Konstuktivismus, 1936



“In order to achieve total

painting, which requires the

active cooperation of all the senses... you must paint, as

drunkards sing and vomit,

sounds, noises, and smells!�

- Carlo Carra



As discussed in Chapter 3, Futurists were radical in their art and wanted to bring about change “for we are young and our art is violently revolutionary,” but their radical nature did not just stop at their art, in this chapter we will explore how they used theatre, cinema, music and literature to express themselves. “Everything moves, everything runs, everything turns rapidly. A figure in never stationary before us but appears and disappears incessantly. Through the persistence of images on the retina, things in movement multiply and are distorted, succeeding each other like vibrations in the space through which they pass. Thus a galloping horse has not got four legs; it has twenty and their motion is triangular…Our bodies enter into the sofas on which we sit, and the sofas enter into us, as also the tram that runs between the houses enters into them, and they in turn hurl themselves on to it and

fuse with it…” Through their written work, futurists were able to have more impact; this was shown in the form of manifestos aimed at the young to encourage them to become more radical. As said in Chapter 2, with the first published document being Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s Manifesto of Futurism written in 1909. As well as the content, they wanted to demolish the institutions as well such as: libraries, museums and academia as they felt that they were “cemeteries of wasted effort.” It was also reflected in the way they expressed themselves in their work and wanted to get rid of adverbs, punctuation adjectives. To be specific, they would only use verbs in the infinitive, and highlight the fast pace and movements, by replacing traditional punctuation with mathematical signs. Linking with literature Graphic Design was a large part of Futurism. Marinetti wanted to reject the traditional parts of book design and create his own. Marinetti quotes, “I call for a typographic revolution directed against the idiotic and nauseating concepts of the out dated and conventional book” He said “My revolution is directed against what is known as the typographic harmony of the page, which is contrary to


F.T. Marinetti Zang Thumb Thumb Milan 1914


the flux and movement of style”. His piece, Zang Tumb Tumb, first appeared as excerpts in journals between 1912 and 1914. He used neither verbs nor adjectives, only nouns scattered about the page, to convey meaning through size, weight and placement, a revolution in style that deconstructed traditional linear writing.Poetry was also used in Futurism. Velimir Khlebnikov and Aleksei Kruchenykh used poetry as another way to express themselves. “Zaum” was used to experiment with linguistics and sound. Their work took on a “fresh dimension and presents a new challenge for the analyst.” Similarly to their prose, it had an irregular rhythm with occasional rhymes. A later collection written in 1917 combined both texts and illustrations, which were both in handwritten lithography in pen or crayon, allowing the artist to add a pictorial element to the texts. Futurist also used theatre and performance as a way of expressing themselves; these took the form of evenings when poems and polemics were read. Similarly, to other aspects of art they had a “deep distaste” for contemporary theatre and saw it as “plagiarism” as it depicted an almost “photographic” reproduction of day-today life, which was seen as being too slow and systematic. They also introduced “The Variety Theatre” which existed to create something new. Its aim was to astonish the viewer, as there was no possibility of standing still or repetition but was used to “break the various records of agility, speed, force, complication, and elegance.” Futurists were influenced by the new developments of visual technology, more specifically “chrono-photography, a predecessor of animation and cinema that allowed the movement of an object to be shown across a sequence of frames”. It allowed them to experiment with new ways to show movement through their painting, allowing them to create more conceptual art with rhythmic, pulsating


qualities. They saw cinema as a “convenient extension” to literature and theatre, as its aim was to develop and change the current output they had. Literary was seen as “pedantic, tedious and oppressive,” and theatre was often seen to be “predictable.” They saw the development of film as an independent art form. The Manifesto of Cinema suggesting futuristic films would be made up of “Painting + sculpture + plastic dynamism + words-in-freedom + noise-tuners + architecture + synthetic theatre.” However not much was done in the field, as it was not a key part of the movement, to the extent that all but one of the four films have been lost. The two main films produced were Vita futurista (Futurist life) directed by Arnaldo Ginna & Lucio Venna in 1916” and Il perfido incanto (The Wicked Enchantment) directed by Anton Giulio Bragaglia in 1918. There was a lot of competition at the time and Italian futurist musicians felt there was an inferiority in the face of the futurist evolution of music in other countries such as: French, Claude Debussy, German Richard Strauss, and other musicians in England, Russia, Finland and Sweden. Noise, was the futurist contribution to music, which was introduced by Luigi Russolo, he wanted to discard tradition and experimented with sounds inspired by speed and machinery. The “Manifesto of Noise” suggested that they wander through the city “with their ears more alert than our eyes” so they could take “pleasure in distinguishing the rushing of water, gas, or air in metal pipes, motors and pistons” to the “cracking of whips, the flapping of curtains and flags.” Futurist musician’s aim was to continually develop and enrich the field of sound; however, listening to their music now in the 21st century, the very chaotic and haunted sound effects, make it almost uneasy to listen to, as there is no regularity of tone or rhythm.



“We shall find the abstract

equivalent for all forms & elements in the universe,

then we shall combine them in sculptural constructions

according to the mood of our inspiration�

- Giacomo Balla



The Suprematist art movement started by Kasimir Malevich focused on basic geometric forms, such as circles, squares, lines, and rectangles, painted in a limited range of colours. Malevich was influenced by cubism and primitive art. The arrangements of geometric forms in various colours are arranged against a flat white background in such ways to express movement, rhythm and speed. This style allowed his work to not have any reference to reality and create completely abstract art. He believed that the “aspiration to transmit what is seen” was a “false conception of art,” stating that this false conception was created by the savage. (Tatlin. V). The first important piece of work created by Malevich was ‘The Black Square’, Malevich declared that ‘the square is not a subconscious form. It is a creation of intuitive reason. It is the face of new art. The square is living, royal infant. It is the first step of pure creation in art’ (J. Milner). This

black square became a centrepiece for the new movement. In 1915, the Russian artists Kseniya Boguslavskaya, Ivan Klyun, Mikhail Menkov, Ivan Puni and Olga Rozanova joined with Kazimir Malevich to form the Suprematist group. Together, they unveiled their new work to the public at 0.10, The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings (1915). (TheArtStory) This was the first public exhibition of Suprematist art. The work that featured had a wide variety of geometric shapes on white or light backgrounds and the compositions were supposed to reflect moving in space. The Suprematist art movement happened in three stages, ‘black’ ‘coloured’ and ‘white’. After Malevich initially started with the Black Square and black phase other artists developed the coloured stage. This phase focused on using more colour and shapes that created the sensation of movement in space. The final stage was another important stage where Malevich produced ‘White on White’. With this piece he pushed


Kazimir Malevich Black Circle 1915


Kazimir Malevich Suprematism 1915


Kazimir Malevich Suprematism nr. 58 1916


Kazimir Malevich Black Square 1915


Kazimir Malevich White on White. 1918


manifesto that Malevich went on to write called ‘The Non-Objective World’, all of the art was trying to change peoples opinions on what art was. The Suprematist artists all had obsessions with the latest technology and speed, such as cars and aeroplanes. This is shown in their work and they create the elusion that the work is weightless and limitless on the page. Malevich moved on from the square, cross and circle to use triangle, ellipse and spiral (J. Milner) This was a step forward as it showed sophistication in the use of rhythmic manipulation of space. Other important Suprematist artist went on to push the boundaries of how far it could go. El Lissitzky’s Proun 99 (1924) experiment had more complex organizations of shape, colour, and form that non-objective art can take (Hub Pages). Each makes use of geometric shapes to create non-objective art. Artists such as El Lissitzky started to use their work as propaganda for the Soviet Union. His work greatly influenced the Bauhaus and constructivist movements, and he experimented with production techniques and stylistic devices that would go on to dominate 20th-century graphic design. The whole Suprematist movement went on to influence new art movements such as Vorticism. The Suprematist movement also moved into architecture. ‘Malevich depicted space with no horizon, which meant that there was no sky and no earth, no up and no down.’ This again linked with speed and technology of aeroplanes and this turned into ‘The Architecture of Flight’. All of the designs main features are long rectangles and they only had right angles. The palntini projects of Malevich were described as ‘future dwellings for earth men’. All of these were linked to planes and the way they are formed. In 1926 Malevich


held an exhibition called Beta, some of the features of the work were; long axis with numerous crossings which in turn develop their own symmetries, and there is a also a substantial height to the piece created by stacking and crossing of blocks of intermediate scale. These features are prominent through out later work, mostly so in ‘Alpha’. These shared so many similarities that it was argued that they were the just a reworking of the same pieces form Beta. Having established his proportional system Malevich could have blocks that were all related to each other in their proportions and subdivisions. The meant there could be endless variety of designs to be explored. This style went on to influence many architects and by the mid 1920s his and other Suprematist artists work spread internationally. Vorticism was a short-lived modernist movement in British art and poetry of the early 20th century, it was partly inspired by Cubism. The members were London-based artists who wanted to identify themselves as a distinct group in contrast to the then well established Italian Futurists, with which the Vorticists shared similar objectives. BLAST was the groups’ magazine / manifesto. It was edited by Wyndham Lewis and was produced as a large “Puce Monster” that had ‘BLAST’ printed diagonally on the cover. Inside its large pages, amongst many articles and illustrations of their art, was a series of pages where the group either ‘blasted’ or ‘blessed’ people and institutions. It was an idea adapted from the Futurists who were also trying to make a name for themselves using similar methods at this time in London and Italy. Vorticism only lasted a few months but it was appreciated more as time past.


El Lissitzky

Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge 1920


El Lissitzky A Proun by Lissitzky, 1925




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List of Illustrations 1 Futurist Manifesto (1909) Available from attachment/340e-2/ [Accessed from April 12th 2014] 2 Elasticity (1912) Available from art-movement-futurism.asp [Accessed April 12th 2014] 3 Street Light (1909) Available from http://oseculoprodigioso.blogspot. [Accessed April 12th 2014] 4 Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1910) Available from happy-birthday-futurists-a-movement-turns-104 [Accessed April 12th 2014] 5 Benito Mussolini (1925) Available from wiki/Benito_Mussolini [Accessed April 12th 2014] 6 Benito Mussolini (ND) Available from wiki/File:Mussolini_mezzobusto. jpg [Accessed April 13th 2014] 7 Il Fascismo Scientifico (1926) Available from

cism/Propaganda.html [Accessed April 14th 2014] 8 Umberto Boccioi (1966) Available from art/339287/Futurist_artists_1913 [Accessed April 14th 2014] 9 The Futurist Group (1909) Available from http://www. blog/category/presentations/ art-groups-collectives/ [Accessed April 14th 2014] 10 Umberto Boccioni (1914) Available from IMM-2y010-0007584/ [Accessed April 14th 2014] 11 Gino Severini (N.D) Available from http://www.wikipaintings. org/en/gino-severini [Accessed April 14th 2014] 12 Carlo Carra (N.D) Available from http://www.theartscouncil. org/artists/carlo-carra/ [Accessed from April 14th 2014] 13 Giacomo Balla {N.D) Available from http://giacomoballa.blogspot. [Accessed from April 14th 2014] Luigi Russolo (1916) Available from [Accessed from April

14th 2014] Aleksandra Aleksandrovna Ekster (N.D) Available from http:// [Accessed from April 14th 2014] 14 Gino Severini (N.D) Available from gino-severini-portrait-mrs-artsy. html [ Accessed from April 16th 2014] 15 Night At Piazza Beccaria (1910) Available from http://www. night-at-piazza-beccaria-in-milan [Accessed from April 18th 2014] 16 Riot in the Galleria (1910) Available from http://www. [Accessed from April 18th 2014] 17 The City Rises (1910) Available from courses/globalart/work/173/ index.html [Accessed from April 18th 2014] 18 Leaving the Theatre (1910) Available from http://www. leaving-the-theatre-1910 [Accessed from April 18th 2014] 19 State of Mind II: The Farewells (1911) Available from http://


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26 Luigi Russolo, (N.D.) Available from [Accessed from April 21st 2014]

21 State of Mind II: Those who Stay (1911) Available from http:// [Accessed from April 18th 2014]

27 “Blast” War Edition (1915) Available from http://www. fleischmann/d_archsuse05/299_ ept_gesamt.htm [Accessed from April 21st 2014]

22 Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913) Available from http:// boccioni-unique-forms-of-continuity-in-space-t01589 [Accessed from April 18th 2014]

28 Vorticist journal Blast No. 1 (1914) Available from http://www. blogs/blast-radical-vorticist-manifesto [Accessed from April 21st 2014]

23 Perspective drawing from La Città Nuova by Sant’Elia (1914) Available from [Accessed from April 18th 2014]

29 Cover of the first edition of Blast, (1914) Available from http:// [Accessed from April 21st 2014]

24 La Citta Nuovo (1914) Available from http://aaronbrownsdon. futurism-and-antonio-santelia/ [Accessed from April 21st 2014]

30 Fortunato Depero (1927) Available from art-manifestos-and-their-applications-in-contemporary-design/ [Accessed from April 21st 2014]

25 Architecture Manifesto (1914) Available from futurist-architecture/ [Accessed


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31 A Tumultuous Assembly. Numerical Sensibility (1919) Available from

tos/laurapopdesign/3353688828/ [Accessed from April 21st 2014] Carlo Cara, (N.D) Available from http://www.gazzettadalba. it/2012/04/carlo-carra-in-fondazione-ferrero/ [Accessed from April 21st 2014] 32 Zang Tumb Tuuum (1914) Available from wiki/Zang_Tumb_Tumb [Accessed from April 21st 2014] 33 Carlo Carra (1940) Available at’s/the-painter-carlo-carrà-nieuwsfotos/165709585 [Accessed 29th April 2014] 34 Giacomo Balla (1990) Available from http://www.celesteprize. com/artwork/ido:173535/ [Accessed from April 21st 2014] 35 Black Circle (1915) Available from http://thesciencebookstore. com/2013/03/planetary-images-of-very-high-contrast-1837/ [Accessed from April 21st 2014] 36 Black Square (1915) Available from research-publications/the-sublime/ philip-shaw-kasimir-malevichsblack-square-r1141459 [Accessed from April 21st 2014] 37 White on White. (1918) Available from

lection/object.php?object_id=80385 [Accessed from April 21st 2014] 38 Suprematism (1915) Available from http://www.wikipaintings. org/en/kazimir-malevich/suprematism-1915-2 [Accessed from April 21st 2014] Suprematism nr. 58 (1916) Available from wm/paint/auth/malevich/sup/ [Accessed from April 21st 2014] 39 The Light and the Shade (1935) Available from http://www. [Accessed from April 21st 2014] 40 A Proun by Lissitzky, (1925) Available from [Accessed from April 21st 2014] 41 Flippo Marinetti (N.D) Available at view/4962/the-state-blog [Accessed 29th April 2014]