Wolfsonian at the Guggenheim

Perhaps fortunately for readers of this newsletter, the Futurist call to “destroy syntax and scatter one’s nouns at random, just as they are born” and to “Abolish all punctuation,” never quite caught on. Those ideas, expressed by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the movement’s founder, in his 1912 “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature” (“Manifesto tecnico della letteratura futurista”) convey a sense of the insurgent, disruptive, enthusiastic spirit and perhaps the complexity of Italian Futurism.

That manifesto is one of more than thirty items on loan to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for the current exhibition Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe from The Wolfsoniana–Fondazione Regionale per la Cultura e lo Spettacola, Genoa (The Wolfsonian’s sister institution). Fifteen items from The Wolfsonian’s collection are also on loan. The exhibition is particularly noteworthy in that it is the first comprehensive overview of Italian Futurism in the United States, according to the Guggenheim.

Italian Futurism showcases more than three hundred works from multiple disciplines, displaying them chronologically. Items on display include painting, sculpture, architecture, design, ceramics, fashion, film, photography, advertising, poetry, publications, music, theater, and performance. Among the objects borrowed from The Wolfsonian are paintings, plates, publications, and more.

Wolfsonian curator Silvia Barisione and Wolfsoniana curator Matteo Fochessati both spoke at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York on February 18 as part of the program Rebirth of Rome: Italian Art and Architecture in the Interwar Period, organized in conjunction with The Wolfsonian’s series of exhibitions Rebirth of Rome and the Guggenheim’s exhibition. Barisione’s talk was titled “The Birth of Rome: Five Visions for the Eternal City,” and Fochessati’s topic was “Mural Painting and the Futurist Plastica Murale: Public Decoration in Italy in the 1920s.”

Captions (click to enlarge):


Painting, Sintesi Fascista [Fascist Synthesis], 1935
Alessandro Bruschetti (Italian, 1910–1981)
Perugia, Italy
Oil on plywood
61 x 110 7/8 inches (154.9 x 281.6 centimeters)
The Wolfsonian–Florida International University, Miami Beach, Florida,
The Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection–3
Photo: Bruce White


Plate, Fascismo Futurismo [Fascism Futurism], from the Vita di Marinetti [Life of Marinetti] service, 1939
Giovanni Acquaviva (Italian, 1900–1971), designer
Casa Giuseppe Mazzotti, Albisola, Italy, manufacturer
Matte, majolica-glazed terracotta
8 1/4 inches diameter (21.0 centimeters diameter)
The Wolfsonian–Florida International University, Miami Beach, Florida,
The Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection
Photo: Lynton Gardiner

Exhibition catalog, Mostra sperimentale di fotografia futurista [Experimental Exhibition of Futurist Photography], 1931
Piero Boccardi (Italian, active 1930s), photographer
Turin, Italy
The Wolfsonian–Florida International University, Miami Beach, Florida
The Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection
Photo: David Almeida

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Wolfsonian at the Guggenheim
Wolfsonian at the Guggenheim