Art movements originate from the need of people to express their reactions to political, social and religious changes. The aim of this expression is to illustrate the artist?s perspective on matters. The Futurism movement is unparalleled in modern art with its aggressive and bold manner. Futurism was born in the heart of Italy in the early 20th Century. Powerful and shameless, these artists asserted their discontent with modern society. They criticised traditional conventionalism and demanded social change. Blatantly the artists headlined the faults that would dissolve what they considered a corrupt government.

Futurism was a movement developed from a published manifesto the Futurist Manifesto (Marinetti, 1909). It was born out of a desire to transform Romanticism, debauchery and nostalgia into something more analogous to the ?Machine Age?. The Futurists embraced the speed, noise, and machines that had become entwined in 20th Century life. They thrived on the exciting new world that was upon them and condemned those who hypocritically liked the comforts of a modern world whilst brashly criticising the forces that bore them. The Futurist Manifesto outlined the philosophies underpinning the movement. These included glorifying war, aggressiveness, destruction of traditional customs, and doing away with things perceived to confine art such as museums and art critics.




By February 1910, Marinetti?s 1909 works had been revised and condensed into a succinct philosophical statement with clear beliefs and goals. However it was still a relatively long time before the works of painters such as Boccioni, Carra and Russolo began to proclaim the radical changes determined by the manifesto. Umberto Boccioni?s 1915 painting Charge of the Lancers epitomises the doctrine of the futurist movement (Fig.1.1). The artist employs a strong use of angular lines to convey a sense of speed and chaos. The viewer is enthralled with the intense movement of this painting. The manipulation of parallel and colliding linear brush strokes give an illusion of mass and this therefore adds a third dimension to the painting. The artist relies heavily on light perception, that is, the discrimination between light and dark. This is used to reinforce the political beliefs defining the artists aim. The ?lancer? in this painting is a formidable force, a fury of armour and strength. He is seen charging over brown figures yielding guns in a seemingly futile manner, and the oblique lines as the horse rears cross those of the guns. Boccioni depicts this cavalry attack, which is allegorical rather than real. The allusion to St George melts into in a Futurist treatment which heightens the dynamism of the general movement. This is an overt political statement, both in relation to war and also the ever-changing modern society. Seen in the top left hand corner is a snippet from a newspaper. It reads ?Presi dai Francesi? which translates as ?taken by the French? and ?Austro, Tedeschi, Russi? which reads ?Austrian, German, Russian?. These statements are naming the major players in the First World War. This collage is referring to the French advance in Alsace in the summer of 1914, which was quickly halted, and offers a clue to the militant ?Francophilia? of the Futurists.



The Futurist principle of "dynamism" as an expressive means, the painters' emphasis on process rather than on things, and their emphasis upon the intuition and its power to synthesize the manifold experiences of sense and memory in a coherent "simultaneity," had profound effects. Marinetti was experimenting with parole in libert? ("words in freedom"), poetry made from words thrown about the page, poetry composed with type, lines, and the occasional drawing. Marinetti?s poem entitled Simultaneity is an incomprehensible scramble of onomatopoeia (Fig.1.2). It's impossible to read this poem in any definitive way: what order should these words and phrases be read in? The impression that Marinetti seemed to be trying to provoke was of a lot of people yelling at the same time, though the title of his poem suggests that it's meant to be a letter that a gunner at the front sent back to his lover. But Marinetti's mark-making doesn't represent the words that the gunner says: instead, the words present the sounds that the gunner hears. Marinetti?s aim was to convey a sensual message of experience rather than a written observation. The collision of descriptive words strewn across the page has the effect of portraying the chaos and noise of war. Unlike most other futuristic art pieces, this