italian futurist


I was invited by Kreativehouse to create this image as a tribute to 20th century Italian futurist Fortunato Depero. The image was printed as unique limited edition bandanas. 

5 Books on Italian Futurism
A Shelfie from Jessica Palmieri, Senior Project Manager at the Getty Museum

Hello, I’m Jessica Palmieri, senior project manager for collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and I’m happy to share with you my longtime passion for futurism. It just so happens that the Getty Research Institute has extensive archives on the subject, and the Getty occasionally publishes on the topic (for example, the recent book on Russian Futurist book art). Here are just five books from my extensive personal archive, which reflect meaningful personal connections.

Futurism by Caroline Tisdall and Angelo Bozzolla (Thames and Hudson, 2010).

The very first book on the topic that I owned is this condensed survey focusing on various aspects of Italian Futurism, such as women and Futurism, performance, and manifestos. My copy was given to me by a close friend while I was an undergrad, when I had only heard a brief mention of the subject in an art history survey class and was desperate to know more. I continued to explore Futurism in these formative years.

Futurist Painting Sculpture: Plastic Dynamism by Umberto Boccioni (Getty Publications, 2016).

Forming a lovely bookend, when I first started at the Getty, I received an email through my website from Getty Publications, and was happy to respond with a phone call to my new colleague. Originally published in 1909, this Getty text is the first English translation of the original, which demonstrates that Boccioni was one of the foremost avant-garde theorists of his time.

Italian futurist theatre, 1909–1944 by Günter Berghaus (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998).

This is THE text on Italian Futurist theater and was immensely useful when I was researching my master’s thesis on Italian Futurist marionette theater. Such a thoroughly researched text, which is a huge contribution to avant-garde performance studies.

Italian Futurism 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe by Vivien Greene (Guggenheim Museum Publications, 2014).

This is the catalog for the exhibition held in New York at the Guggenheim in 2014, which the first comprehensive overview of Italian Futurism to be presented in the United States. Meant to complement—but not recreate—the exhibition, this publication examines Futurism from its inception with F.T. Marinetti’s manifesto in 1909 through the movement’s demise at the end of World War II. The publication spans a broad expanse of artists involved with the movement and encompasses not only painting and sculpture, but also architecture, design, ceramics, fashion, film, photography, advertising, free-form poetry, publications, music, theater, and performance.

Futurismo & Futurismi, Palazzo Grassi (Bompiani, 1986).

I own no fewer than three copies in both English and Italian of this catalog. With a wealth of illustrated images, this is a great glance at the movement in an international context. Before there was the Guggenheim exhibition, Futurismo & Futurismi, held in Venice in 1986 and curated by Pontus Hulton, was the most impactful presentation of the subject. This exhibition was the first attempt to contextualize Italian Futurism as an international, global cultural phenomenon. It exposed many to the art of the Italian Futurists for the first time.

Breathtaking Maria Monaci Gallenga Couture trained gown dating back to the early 1920’s. The textile art of Gallenga is often compared to that of Mariano Fortuny because they both produced hand-stenciled designs that drew inspiration from the distant past. Gallenga became the mentor of the Italian Futurists and in 1925 exhibited in the Italian Pavilion, winning the Grand Prix for stenciled textiles. I adore the metallic stenciled medieval novelty pattern throughout. The care to place this garment together must have taken weeks. The luxurious heavily-pleated collar and waistband create a beautiful regal effect. My favorite detail is the dramatic winged angel-sleeves which Gallenga was known for.