Futurism Literature Summary



Futurism was a well renown social and an artistic movement that owes its origin from Italy, sometimes around the 20th Century. It stressed on the themes and ideologies that are related to the future contemporary concepts like technology, speed, youth and violence etc. On the other side, constructivism is known to have been the last, yet the most influential movement of the modern art that flourished in In Russia, in the 20th Century. Another art movement that also existed was the expressionism.  However, this existed in the 19th century and is claimed to owe its origin from artists who were based in Paris.

This essay will examine different ideologies and thoughts of these various movements, and compare them all together. It is interesting to have the comparison because all these groups existed during the same age bracket that is 19c to 20c, yet had different approaches and manifestos. It is worthy of comparing them because they seem to draw their members from nearly one locality- Russia, Italy and England. It will also be suitable to have a comparison since the movements seem to carry out activities with artistic interest.


Futurism was practised in all sort of art medium, including sculpture, painting, graphic design, ceramics, interior design, industrial design, literature, textile, music, fashion, film, theatre, urban design, architecture as well as gastronomy. (Berghaus)Futurism key figures included the Italians Carlo Carra, Luigi Russolo, Gino Severini, Umberto Boccioni, Fillipo Tommaso Marinetti, Antonio Sant’Elia and Giacomo Bala. This movement had some influence on art movements like the Art Deco, Dada, Surrealism, and Constructivism. To a greater degree, it did influence Rayonism, Vorticism and Precisionism.

Futurists founding manifesto lacked a positive artistic program. By this manifesto, they were committed to a universal dynamism of being properly represented in painting. The manifesto of the futurists was written by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and published in the year 1909 in the Gazzetta dell ’Emilia. This brought in a philosophy that talked of rejecting the past and being futurist in the appreciation of modernity and rejuvenation of culture of the people of Italy. Futurists used excesses to prove the continuity of the intellectual class of Italy. The futurists tried to confirm that Italy is present in such a time when the growth of the industry is of paramount importance. Italy is powerful enough to participate in the upcoming new experience, has industry and will get the powerful essence progressively move on in her key symbols. (Painter)

Futurists emphasize that progress can not overtake literature, but instead, progress will be absorbed by the literature in the evolution. Human beings will make use of this progress to let their instinctive nature explode. According to futurists, human beings will use speed, and not the opposite. The aspect of History cannot be overlooked, however. Many things will transform and have new contents. Man will go through these changes and bring himself to what originate s from civilization. In their manifesto, the futurist term was as necessary for human spirit health and as a purification that permits and is beneficial to the idealism.

Just like futurists, constructivism came into being in the 20th century and progressed so well in Russia. This artistic movement came into existence when Bolsheviks came into power during the 1917 revolution. In the start, it was a great boost for the ideas and the hopes of the majority of the artists from Russia who had advanced successfully.  This artistic movement had some similarities with the futurists since it borrowed from them.  It also borrowed some ideas from Supremacism and Cubism.

However, the heart  of its art sought to bring a new approach that advocated to abolish the past artistic concern, with materials and composition, meant to replace them with “construction.”  The ideologies of constructivism sought to technically analyze modern materials, which led to rising of hopes that this examination would finally lead to the birth of ideas that when put to use would lead to mass production and serve the ends of a modern society that is Communist in nature.  Some members of the movement kept on insisting the value of analytical work, abstract as well as the value of art. All these artists had a significant impact on the spread of Constructivism allover Europe.

Others pushed for a new idea of Productivism which apparently did not work. This was a great blow to the movement. In productivity phase, the ideologists advocated for artists to work in industries. Constructivism looked at demonstrating how materials behave. (Goldberg) They would questions like, for example, “What are the different properties found in the wood, that are not in the glass?” Just like futurists, constructivism was more focused on the future.

Expressionism Is yet another artistic movement that existed slightly earlier than futurism constructivism. It started with a group of artists who were Paris-based in the 19th Century. The painting characteristics of the Impressionists were relatively thin, small, open composition and stressed on accuracy in the depiction of light in their changing features usual subject matter, the inclusion of this movement as a vital part of human experience and perception, and visual angles that are unusual.

Past impressionists were against the guidelines of academic painting. Impressionists constructed their pictures from colours that are freely brushed, and which took precedence over contours and lines.



In conclusion, we have seen that each of the said movement had their ideologies that advocate for modernity and embrace change while safeguarding their artistic work from the passage of time. Each movement tried to come up with new ideas and approaches to convince others.

Work Cited


Berghaus, Günter. International futurism in arts and literature. Berlin: Berlin [u.a.] : de Gruyter, 2000.

Goldberg, RoseLee. Performance. London: London: Thames & Hudson, 2004.

Painter, Kirsten Blythe. Flint on a bright stone. Stanford: Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006.






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