Retracing Futurism

We are pleased to present works from two family archive of Futurism, Italy’s most important art movement of the last 150 years.

Luigi Russolo Archives

Luigi Russolo was an Italian Futurist painter and composer, and the author of the manifesto The Art of Noises (1913). He is often regarded as one of the first noise music experimental composers with his performances of “noise concerts” in 1913-14 and then again after World War I, notably in Paris in 1921. He is also one of the first theorists of electronic music.

The archive consists of 71 pieces, and this collection of drawings and watercolours has remained in Russolo’s family since his death in 1947.

Carlo Erba Archive

Carlo Erba was one of the leading avant-garde painters of the early 1900s, and a member of the Futurist art movement. He was the grandson and namesake of the famous Italian chemist, Carlo Erba, and was based in Milan where he developed lasting friendships among the halls of the Brera Academy of Art and the Famiglia Artistica art salon with other leading lights of the Futurist movement, such as Carlo Carra, Umberto Boccioni and Luigi Russolo.

When Italy joined the First World War, Erba enlisted into the Lombardy Battalion of Volunteer Cyclists and Motorists together with all the other leading lights of the Futurist movement, including Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Boccioni, Sant Elia, Russolo, Sironi and others.

As well as individual drawings and paintings, the Carlo Erba Archive presents a recently released documentary: ‘Retracing Futurism’ based on exclusive interviews from 1979-80 of with first hand witnesses and other experts, now no longer alive, of the Futurist movement.  The documentary includes footage of:

  • Marco Bisi, a relative of Boccioni’s who witnessed the breaking in 1927 of all the sculpture casts of Boccioni and was instrumental in the recovery of the cast of  Development of a Bottle in Space from which
  • Gino Francioli, who served in the WW1 battalion with Carlo Erba, Marinetti, Boccioni, Sironi and several other Futurists.
  • Giuseppe Sprovieri, art critic and owner of the Futurist Gallery in 1913-1924 in Rome and Naples.
  • Tullio Crali, aero-painter, reciting Marinetti’s Zang Tum Tumb and the Battle of Adrianopoli.
  • Interview with Giannina Censi, dancer and choreographer who in the 30’s had interpreted the Futurist Dance Manifesto.
  • Categories: Art & Design / Arte y Diseño / 艺术与设计