The Collection of Robert Shapazian
These works on paper by two of the founders of the Futurist movement perfectly encapsulate the principles on which the group was founded. Launched on February 20, 1909 with the publicaton of his "Le Futurisme" manifesto, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's intention was to reject the past, to revolutionize culture and make it more modern. The new ideology of Futurism was to reil against the weighty inheritance of an art tied to the Italian cultural tradition and exalted the idea of an aesthetic generated by the modern myth of the machine and of speed.
With these two works Giacomo Balla and Carlo Carra examine the lyrical nature of poetry. Rather than focusing on the literal meaning of the words, their interest lies on the rythmic nature of the sounds of the words as they are spoken. Balla and Carra combine this onomatopoeic investigation with their interest in 'concrete poetry' in which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as meaning of words, rhythm and rhyme.
Together, these two works deconstruct and reasses the traditonal nature of poetry in true futurist fashion. By reducing the words to their most elemental qualities, Balla and Carra have transformed the art of poetry into a visual as well as a written art.