The Age of Machinery

Interest and appreciation of machinery was clearly in the air in the early decades of the 20th century. For a group of young Italian ``Futurist'' artists, the progress offered by machinery epitomized their increasing fascination with dynamic speed and motion. Though they translated this idea of progress into a frenetic exultation of the glory of war and the destruction of museums, their visual understanding of motion remained exciting.

The Italian Futurists, like the members of Die Brücke in Germany, aimed to free art from all its historical restraints and celebrate the new beauty of the modern age. Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916), Gino Severini (1883-1966), and Giacomo Balla (1871-1958), who all joined Futurism in 1910, wanted to express the onrush of events in the world with pictures of motion, dynamism, and power. In Street Noises Invade the House (1911; 100 x 107 cm (39 1/4 x 42 in)), Boccioni attempts to give this sensation and succeeds remarkably well. Noise becomes something seen, something literally invasive of privacy. Boccioni said of the picture: ``all life and the noises of the street rush in at the same time as the movement and the reality of the objects outside.'' The surging incoherence of the forms is both chaotic and ordered.

© 14 Oct 2002, Nicolas Pioch - Top - Up - Info
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