On February 15 the Adler & Conkright Gallery, in collaboration with Ex Libris, New York, will present an exhibition of over forty works, including drawings, books, periodicals and ceramics by the Italian Futurists. The exhibition, which will continue through April 5, 1992, will focus on the important and influential Futurist literary invention of Words-in-Freedom. Among the artists represented are F.T.Marinetti, the founder of the movement, Francesco and Pasqualino Cangiullo, Fortunato Depero, Angelo Rognoni and Gino Sogetti.
In his founding manifesto of Futurism in 1909, Marinetti proclaimed the absolute need for society to participate in the complete transformation of Italian culture, which was anachronistic in light of the breakthrough advancements in science, technology and communication. With this first manifesto and the subsequent "Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature" in 1912 and " Destruction of Syntax-Imagination without Strings " in 1913 in which he gave birth to his theory of Words-in-Freedom, Marinetti outlined the principles of a "visual-sensory" poetry. Among his goals was the re-creation of the experience of immediacy and to this end he exalted the destruction of syntax, the abolishment of punctuation, the use of mathematical symbols to express rhythm, onomatopoeia, the introduction of the weight, sound and smell of objects and the use of color and innovative typography and their arrangements to give greater expressive force to the words and forms, the result being "a simultaneous vision in which the viewer understands the general meaning of the work at first sight". It was this literary concept of Words-in-Freedom which the Italian Futurist artists sought to interpret in their paintings. Included in this exhibition are some of Marinetti's free-word drawings, many of which are accounts of battles, both literal (the Balkan war) and figurative (with the existing Italian culture) as well as his most influential books "Zang Tumb Tuuum" and "Les mots en liberte futuristes". Also included are important drawings and books by Francesco Cangiullo, whose reinvention of typography and orthography included "humanized letters", as well as a group of unique ceramic dishes by Giovanni Acquaviva which are a testament to Marinetti's life and innovation.
It was through his contempt for conventional language and the rejection of the traditional culture and through his theory of Words-in-Freedom, which aimed to reach the mass audience and encourage spectator participation, that Marinetti and his circle of Italian Futurists also laid down the foundations for Dada poetry and the "Zaum" of Russian Futurists.
Futurismo: Words - In - Freedom
Essay by Luce