Emilio Pettoruti, Dynamic Expansion, 1914
In this work Pettoruti aims to convey the synchronicity of movement, light and rhythm with arching curves and shadows created from the subtle tonal range of charcoal on paper. This work is among this artist’s earliest forays into abstraction, made a year after he moved from his native Argentina to Italy where he was introduced to Futurist art.
Here is Umberto Boccioni’s version of the development of modern art - Dall’ impressionismo al futurismo (From Impressionism to Futurism). It was published in Dinamo Futurista in June 1933, preceding Alfred Barr’s chart by three years. Boccioni’s geneology starts with Eduard Manet, then divides artists into two columns of those preoccupied with color and those dealing with form, and is synthesized again in the Plastic Abstraction of the Futurists.
Balla’s series of Iridescent Interpenetrations distill the sensation of seeing into radiant, prismatic colors, and interplaying geometric forms. These works evoke the artist’s interest in scientific diagrams and theories of vision. He drew shapes with a compass, ruler and square, but balanced these mechanized elements with hand-drawn lines and loosely filled color.
THE OVERNIGHT GUEST
The poet-painter Carlo Carrà traveled to Paris as part of a delegation of Italian Futurists in 1914. The French poet Guillaume Apollinaire put him up in the offices of his review Les Soirées de Paris, and the two saw each other almost every day. (Apollinaire even managed to broker a gallery contract for the Italian with Picasso’s dealer Kahnweiler.) In quick succession, they began to create graphically innovative free verse—Apollinaire the first calligramme, Carrà parole in libertà, seen above.