Italian futurism 1909-1944 | EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art

EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art

EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art is one of the biggest museums in Finland.

Italian futurism 1909-1944

02.03.2012 to 10.06.2012

Futurism was an important art movement in Italy in the first half of the 20th century. Focussing on the new urban world and concept of man, it scorned all that was old and traditional, and glorified machines, technology, speed, noise and movement.

  “We declare that the splendour of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing car with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath ... a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Winged Victory of Samothrace.”

The fourth thesis of the manifesto published by the Italian poet and editor Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944) in La gazzetta dell’Emilia on 5.2.1909, later reproduced in the French daily Le Figaro, crystallises the whole philosophy of Futurism: a noisy racing car versus the classical marble statue.

In addition to issuing manifestos, the Futurists organised mass meetings, provocative and absurd performances, which frequently ended in riots.
Futurism, one of the lesser known ‘isms’ of the arts, thrived particularly well in Italy into the 1940s. It was expected to lead to an international revolutionary movement that would influence social thinking in addition to the arts. Its influence was most clearly seen in Russian, Germany and Great Britain, but in Finland, for example, it found no echo.

With its impact on literature, music, the visual arts, cinema, design and theatre, Futurism was part of the general political, industrial and cultural turbulence in Europe at the time. In Italy it acquired powerful nationalist overtones. The Futurists denied the past and aimed at creating an entirely new culture.

The Futurists were attracted to everything that symbolised modern life: noise, hubbub, machines, gadgets, speed, movement and violence. They welcomed the outbreak of the First World War as a chance to destroy the old, but soon the sheer brutality of it caused many of them to change their attitude.

The new exhibition at EMMA continues the museum’s series on the phenomena of Modernism. The fascination with machines and speed, like Futurism in general, is very masculine, so out of the 52 artists represented, only three are women. Covering the whole lifecycle of Futurism, the exhibition displays paintings, sculptures, sketches, architectural designs, objets and furniture. Futurism never differentiated between abstract and representational art, what was important in these powerful colourful works was movement. The most popular motifs were machines, cars and aeroplanes, but they were also populated by people and animals.


  • Enrico Allemandi 1910–1984    
  • Cesare Andreoni 1903–1961
  • R.M. Baldessari 1894–1965 
  • Giacomo Balla 1871–1958    
  • Barbara 1915–2002    
  • Vasco Battistoni 1895–1962    
  • Benedetta 1897–1977  
  • Umberto Boccioni 1882–1916    
  • Arturo Bragaglia 1893–1962    
  • Attilio Calzavara 1901–1952    
  • Francesco Cangiullo 1884–1977     
  • Pasqualino Cangiullo1900–1975  
  • Carlo Dalmazzo Carrà 1881–1966   
  • Arturo Ciacelli 1883–1966    
  • Umberto Primo Conti 1900–1988    
  • Tullio Crali  1910–2000    
  • Francesco Cristofanetti 1901–1951   
  • Fortunato Depero 1892–1960    
  • De Pistoris 1898–1975   
  • Di Bosso1905–1982   
  • Nicolay Diulgheroff 1901–1982    
  • Gerardo Dottori 1884–1977    
  • Leonardo Dudreville 1885–1975    
  • Carlo Erba 1884–1917    
  • Julius Evola 1898–1974  
  • Farfa 1881–1964  
  • Fillia  1904–1936   
  • Achille Funi 1890–1972    
  • Gino Galli 1893–1954     
  • Arnaldo Ginna 1890–1982 
  • Virgilio Marchi 1895–1960    
  • Filippo Tommaso Marinetti 1876–1944    
  • Mario Nannini 1895–1918    
  • Emilio Notte 1891–1982    
  • Pippo Oriani 1909–1972    
  • Vinicio Paladini 1902–1971    
  • Ivo Pannaggi 1901–1981    
  • Enrico Prampolini 1894–1956    
  • Pippo Rizzo 1897–1964     
  • Angelo Rognoni 1896–1957    
  • Romolo Romani 1884–1916    
  • Ottone Rosai 1895–1957    
  • Mino Rosso 1904–1963    
  • Luigi Russolo 1885–1947    
  • Gino Severini 1883–1966  
  • Sibò 1907–2000     
  • Mario Sironi 1885–1961    
  • Ardengo Soffici 1879–1964    
  • Tato 1896–1974   
  • Thayaht 1893–1959   
  • Lucio Venna 1897–1974  
  • Rougena Zatkova 1885–1923 

In cooperation with

  • Futur-ism
  • Galleria Comunale d'Arte Moderna of Roma
  • Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art of London
  • Unicredit Group Collection


  • Giancarlo Carpi
  • Marco Ancora