Exhibition of works by the Italian Futurist Painters

ID: 432, Status: completed
Exhibition period:
Mar 5, 1912
Organizing Bodies:
Sackville Gallery
s (Great Britain Pound (in Shilling))
Catalogue Entries: 35
Types of Work: unknown: 35
Artists: 4
Gender: female: 0, male: 4
Nationalities: 1
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Date Title City Venue # of common Artists
Jul 1912 Die Futuristen [Wanderausstellung Der Sturm] Hamburg Hamburg (exact location unknown) 4 artists
Apr 12‒May 15, 1912 Der Sturm. Zweite Ausstellung. Die Futuristen Berlin Gilka-Villa 4 artists
May 20‒Jun 1912 Les Peintres Futuristes Italiens / Exposition Brussels Galerie Georges Giroux 4 artists
Aug‒Oct 1914 Der Sturm. Die Futuristen [Achtundzwanzigste Ausstellung] Berlin Der Sturm [venues] 4 artists
Feb 5‒24, 1912 Les Peintres Futuristes italiens Paris MM. Bernheim-Jeune & Cie 4 artists
May 14‒Jun 10, 1914 Prima Esposizione di pittura futurista Naples Galleria Permanente Futurista 4 artists
Feb 21‒Mar 21, 1913 Prima Esposizione Pittura Futurista Rome Foyer del Teatro Costanzi 4 artists
Feb‒Mar 1914 Esposizione di Pittura Futurista. Boccioni, Carrà, Russolo, Balla, Severini, Soffici Rome Galleria Futurista - Sprovieri 4 artists
Nov 1913‒Jan 1914 Esposizione di Pittura Futurista di "Lacerba" Florence Galleria Gonnelli 4 artists
May 18‒Jun 15, 1913 Les Peintres et les Sculpteurs Futuristes Italiens Rotterdam Rotterdamsche Kunstkring 4 artists
Apr‒May 1914 Exhibition of Works of the Italian Futurist Painters and Sculptors London Doré Gallery 4 artists
1914 Der Sturm. Neunundzwanzigste Ausstellung Berlin Der Sturm [venues] 3 artists
Jan‒Feb 1913 A Futuristák és Expressionisták kiállitása [Exhibition of the Futurists and Expressionists] Budapest Nemzeti Szalon 4 artists
1915 Sammlung Walden. Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Plastiken Berlin Der Sturm [venues] 3 artists
Sep 20‒Dec 1, 1913 Der Sturm. Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon Berlin Lepke-Räume 4 artists
Dec 15, 1909‒Jan 8, 1910 Esposizione Annuale d'Arte della Famiglia Artistica Milan Famiglia Artistica 2 artists
Exhibition of works by the Italian Futurist Painters, Esposizioni futuriste. London Reproduction of or. cat.,19771912.
Printed by: SPES- Studio per Edizioni Scelte, nr. of pages: 36.
Holding Institutions: Universitäts-Bibliothek Passau - UB Passau, online: Fondazione Memofonte
Catalogue Price
"F. T. MARINETTI", "Initial Manifesto of Futurism", p. 3-7

1. We shall sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and boldness.
2. The essential elements of our poetry shall be courage, during, and rebellion.
3. Literature has hitherto glorified thoughtful immobility, ecstasy and sleep; we shall extol aggressive movement, feverish insomnia, the double quick step, the somersault, the box on the ear, the fisticuff.
4. We declare that the world's splendour has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing motor-car, its frame adorned with great pipes, like snakes with explosive breath... a roaring motor-car, which looks as though running on shrapnel, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.
5. We shall sing of the man at the steering wheel, whose ideal stem transfixes the Earth, rushing over the circuit of her orbit.
6. The poet must give himself with frenzy, with splendour and with lavishness, in order to increase the enthusiastic fervour of the primordial elements.
7. There is no more beauty except in strife. No masterpiece without aggressiveness. Poetry must be a violent onslaught upon the unknown forces, to command them to bow before man.
8. We stand upon the extreme promontory of the centuries! … Why should we look behind us, when we [p. 3] have to break in the mysterious portals of the Impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. Already we live in the absolute, since we have already created speed, eternal and ever-present.
9. We wish to glorify War - the only health giver of the world-militarism, patriotism, the destructive arm of the Anarchist, the beautiful Ideas that kill, the contempt for woman.
10. We wish to destroy the museums, the libraries, to fight against moralism, feminism and all opportunistic and utilitarian meannesses.
11. We shall sing of the great crowds in the excitement of labour, pleasure or rebellion; of the multi-coloured and polyphonic surf of revolutions in modern capital cities; of the nocturnal vibration of arsenals and workshops beneath their violent electric moons; of the greedy stations swallowing smoking snakes; of factories suspended from the clouds by their strings of smoke; of bridges leaping like gymnasts over the diabolical cutlery of sunbathed rivers; of adventurous liners scenting the horizon; of broad-chested locomotives prancing on the rails, like huge steel horses bridled with long tubes; and of the gliding flight of aeroplanes, the sound of whose screw is like the flapping of flags and the applause of an enthusiastic crowd.

It is in Italy that we launch this manifesto of violence, destructive and incendiary, by which we this day found Futurism, because we would deliver Italy from its canker of professors, archaeologists, cicerones and antiquaries.
Italy has been too long the great market of the second-hand dealers. We would free her from the numberless museums which cover her with as many cemeteries.
Museums, cemeteries! …Truly identical with their sinister jostling of bodies that know one another not. [ p.4]
Public dormitories where one sleeps for ever side by side with detested or unknown beings. Mutual ferocity of painters and sculptors slaying one another with blows of lines and colour in a single museum.
Let one pay a visit there each year us one visits one's dead once a year...That we can allow! …Deposit flowers even once a year at the feet of the Gioconda, if you will! ...But to walk daily in the museums with our sorrows, our fragile courage and our anxiety, that is inadmissible! …Would you, then, poison yourselves? Do you want to decay?
What can one find in an old picture unless it be the painful contortions of the artist striving to break the bars that stand in the way of his desire to express completely his dream?
To admire an old picture is to pour our sensitiveness into a funereal urn, instead of casting it forward in violent gushes of creation and action. Would you, then, waste the best of your strength by a useless admiration of the past, from which you can but emerge exhausted, reduced, downtrodden?
In truth, the daily haunting of museums, of libraries and of academies (those cemeteries of wasted efforts, those calvaries of crucified dreams, those ledgers of broken attempts!) is to artists what the protracted tutelage of parents is to intelligent youths, intoxicated with their talent and their ambitious determination.
For men on their death-bed, for invalids, and for prisoners, very well! The admirable past may be balsam to their wounds, since the future is closed to them… But we will have none of it, we, the young, the strong, and the living Futurists!
Come, then, the good incendiaries with their charred fingers! ...Here they come! Here they come! …[p.5]
Set fire to the shelves of the libraries! Deviate the course of canals to flood the cellars of the museums! …Oh! may the glorious canvasses drift helplessly! Seize pickaxes and hammers! Sap the foundations of the venerable cities!
The oldest amongst us are thirty; we have, therefore, ten years at least to accomplish our task. When we are forty, let others, younger and more valiant, throw us into the basket like useless manuscripts! ...They will come against us from afar, from everywhere, bounding upon the lightsome measure of their first poems, scratching the air with their hooked fingers, and scenting at the academy doors the pleasant odour of our rotting minds, marked out already for the catacombs of the libraries.
But we shall not be there. They will find us at length, one winter's night, right out in the country, beneath a dreary shed, the monotonous rain-drops strumming on the roof, cowering by our trepidating aeroplanes, warming our hands at the miserable fire which our books of today-will make, blaring gaily beneath the dazzling flight of their images.
They will surge around us, breathless with anxiety and disappointment, and all, exasperated by our dauntless courage, will throw themselves upon us to slay us, with all the more hatred because their hearts will be filled with love and admiration for us. And Injustice, strong and healthy, will burst forth radiantly in their eyes. For art can be nought but violence, cruelty and injustice.
The oldest amongst us are thirty, and yet we have already squandered treasures, treasures of strength, of love, of courage, of rugged determination, hastily, in a frenzy, without counting, with all our might, breathlessly.
Look at us! We are not breathless. …Our heart does not feel the slightest weariness! For it is fed with [p. 6] fire, hatred and speed! ...That surprises you? It is because you do not remember even having lived! We stand upon the summit of the world and once more we cast our challenge to the stars!
Your objections? Enough! Enough! I know them! It is agreed! We know well what our fine and false intelligence tells us. We are, it says, only the summary and the extension of our ancestors. Perhaps! Very well! …What matter? ...But we do not wish to hear! Beware of repeating those infamous words! Better lift your head!
We stand upon the summit of the world and once more we cast our challenge to the stars!
F. T. MARINETTI, Editor of " Poesia.'" [p. 8]


We may declare, without boasting, that the first Exhibition of Italian Futurist Painting, recently held in Paris and now brought to London, is the most important exhibition of Italian painting which has hitherto been offered to the judgment of Europe.
For we are young and our art is violently revolutionary.
What we have attempted and accomplished, while attracting around us a large number of skilful imitators and as many plagiarists without talent, has placed us at the head of the European movement in painting, by a road different from, yet, in a way, parallel with that followed by the Post-impressionists, Synthetists and Cubists of France, led by their masters Picasso, Braque, Derain, Metzinger, Le Fauconnier, Gleizes, Léger, Lhote, etc.
While we admire the heroism of these painters of great worth, who have displayed a laudable contempt for artistic commercialism and a powerful hatred of academism, we feel ourselves and we declare ourselves to be absolutely opposed to their art.
They obstinately continue to paint objects motionless, frozen, and all the static aspects of Nature; they worship the traditionalism of Poussin, of Ingres, of Corot, ageing and petrifying their art with an obstinate attachment to the past, which to our eyes remains totally incomprehensible. [p. 9]
We, on the contrary, with points of view pertaining essentially to the future, seek for a style of motion, a thing which has never been attempted before us.
Far from resting upon the examples of the Greeks and the Old Masters, we constantly extol individual intuition; our object is to determine completely new laws which may deliver painting from the wavering uncertainty in which it lingers.
Our desire, to give as far as possible to our pictures a solid construction, can never bear us back to any tradition whatsoever. Of that we are firmly convinced.
All the truths learnt in the schools or in the studios are abolished for us. Our hands are free enough and pure enough to start everything afresh.
It is indisputable that several of the aesthetic declarations of our French comrades display a sort of masked academism.
Is it not, indeed, a return to the Academy to declare that the subject, in painting, is of perfectly insignificant value?
We declare, on the contrary, that there can be no modern painting without the starting point of an absolutely modern sensation, and none can contradict us when we state that painting and sensation are two inseparable words.
If our pictures are futurist, it is because they are the result of absolutely futurist conceptions, ethical, aesthetic, political and social.
To paint from the posing model is an absurdity, and an act of mental cowardice, even if the model be translated upon the picture in linear, spherical or cubic forms.
To lend an allegorical significance to an ordinary nude figure, deriving the meaning of the picture from [p. 10] the objects held by the model or from those which are arranged about him, is to our mind the evidence of a traditional and academic mentality.
This method, very similar to that employed by the Greeks, by Raphael, by Titian, by Veronese, must necessarily displease us.
While we repudiate impressionism, we emphatically condemn the present reaction which, in order to kill impressionism, brings back painting to old academic forms.
It is only possible to react against impressionism by surpassing it.
Nothing is more absurd than to fight it by adopting the pictural laws which preceded it.
The points of contact which the quest of style may have with the so-called classic art do not concern us.
Others will seek, and will, no doubt, discover, these analogies which in any case cannot be looked upon as a return to methods, conceptions and values transmitted by classical painting.

A few examples will' illustrate our theory.
We see no difference between one of those nude figures commonly called artistic and an anatomical plate. There is, on the other hand, an enormous difference between one of these nude figures and our futurist conception of the human body.
Perspective, such as it is understood by the majority of painters, has for us the very same value which they lend to an engineer's design.
The simultaneousness of states of mind in the work of art: that is the intoxicating aim of our art. [p. 11]
Let us explain again by examples. In painting a person on a balcony, seen from inside the room, we do not limit the scene to what the square frame of the window renders visible; but we try to render the sum total of visual sensations which the person on the balcony has experienced; the sun-bathed throng in the street, the double row of houses which stretch to right and left, the beflowered balconies, etc. This implies the simultaneousness of the ambient, and, therefore, the dislocation and dismemberment of objects, the scattering and fusion of details, freed from accepted logic, and independent from one another.
In order to make the spectator live in the centre of the picture, as we express it in our manifesto, the picture must be the synthesis of what one remembers and of what one sees.
You must render the invisible which stirs and lives beyond intervening obstacles, what we have on the right, on the left, and behind us, and not merely the small square of life artificially compressed, as it were, by the wings of a stage.
We have declared in our manifesto that what must be rendered is the dynamic sensation, that is to say, the particular rhythm of each object, its inclination, its movement, or, to put it more exactly, its interior force.
It is usual to consider the human being in its different aspects of motion or stillness, of joyous excitement or grave melancholy.
What is overlooked is that all inanimate objects display, by their lines, calmness or frenzy, sadness or gaiety. These various tendencies lend to the lines of which they are formed a sense and character of weighty stability or of aerial lightness. [p.12]

Every object reveals by its lines how it would resolve itself were it to follow the tendencies of its forces.
This decomposition is not governed by fixed laws but it varies according to the characteristic personality of the object and the emotions of the onlooker.
Furthermore, every object influences its neighbour, not by reflections of light (the foundation of impressionistic primitivism), but by a real competition of lines and by real conflicts of planes, following the emotional law which governs the picture (the foundation of futurist primitivism).

With the desire to intensify the æsthetic emotions by blending, so to speak, the painted canvas with the soul of the spectator, we have declared that the latter "must in future be placed in the centre of the picture.”
He shall not be present at, but participate in the action. If we paint the phases of a riot, the crowd bustling with uplifted fists and the noisy onslaughts of cavalry are translated upon the canvas in sheaves of lines corresponding with all the conflicting forces, following the general law of violence of the picture.
These force-lines must encircle and involve the spectator so that he will in a manner be forced to struggle himself with the persons in the picture.
All objects, in accordance with what the painter Boccioni happily terms physical transcendentalism, tend to the infinite by their force-lines the continuity of which is measured by our intuition.
It is these force-lines that we must draw in order to lead back the work of art to true painting. We interpret nature by rendering these objects upon the canvas [p. 14] as the beginnings or the prolongations of the rhythms impressed upon our sensibility by these very objects.
After having, for instance, reproduced in a picture the right shoulder or the right ear of a figure, we deem it totally vain and useless to reproduce the left shoulder or the left ear. We do not draw sounds, but their vibrating intervals. We do not paint diseases, but their symptoms and their consequences.
We may further explain our idea by a comparison drawn from the evolution of music.
Not only have we radically abandoned the motive fully developed according to its determined and, therefore, artificial equilibrium, but we suddenly and purposely intersect each motive with one or more other motives of which we never give the full development but merely the initial, central, or final notes.
As you see, there is with us not merely variety, but chaos and clashing of rhythms, totally opposed to one another, which we nevertheless assemble into a new harmony.
We thus arrive at what we call the painting of states of mind.
In the pictural description of the various states of mind of a leave-taking, perpendicular lines, undulating and as it were worn out, clinging here and there to silhouettes of empty bodies, may well express languidness and discouragement.
Confused and trepidating lines, either straight or curved, mingled with the outlined hurried gestures of people calling one another, will express a sensation of chaotic excitement.
On the other hand, horizontal lines, fleeting, rapid and jerky, brutally cutting into half lost profiles of faces or crumbling and rebounding fragments of land­ [ n.p] scape, will give the tumultuous feelings of the persons going away.
It is practically impossible to express in words the essential values of painting.
The public must also be convinced that in order to understand æsthetic sensations to which one is not accustomed, it is necessary to forget entirely one’s intellectual culture, not in order to assimilate the work of art, but to deliver one's self up to it heart and soul.
We are beginning a new epoch of painting.
We are sure henceforward of realising conceptions of the highest importance and the most unquestionable originality. Others will follow who, with equal daring and determination, will conquer those summits of which we can only catch a glimpse. That is why we have proclaimed ourselves to be the primitives of a completely renovated sensitiveness.

In several of the pictures which we are presenting to the public, vibration and motion endlessly multiply each object. We have thus justified our famous statement regarding the “running horse which has not four legs, but twenty."
One may remark, also, in our pictures spots, lines, zones of colour which do not correspond to any reality, but which, in accordance with a law of our interior mathematics, musically prepare and enhance the emotion of the spectator.
We thus create a sort of emotive ambience, seeking by intuition the sympathies and the links which exist [ p.6] between the exterior (concrete) scene and the interior (abstract) emotion. Those lines, those spots, those zones of colour, apparently illogical and meaningless, are the mysterious keys to our pictures.
We shall no doubt be taxed with an excessive desire to define and express in tangible form the subtle ties which unite our abstract interior with the concrete exterior.
Yet, could we leave an unfettered liberty of understanding to the public which always sees as it has been taught to see, through eyes warped by routine?
We go our way, destroying each day in ourselves and in our pictures the realistic forms and the obvious details which have served us to construct a bridge of understanding between ourselves and the public. In order that the crowd may enjoy our marvellous spiritual world, of which it is ignorant, we give it the material sensation of that world.

We thus reply to the coarse and simplistic curiosity which surrounds us by the brutally realistic aspects of our primitivism.

Conclusion: Our futurist painting embodies three new conceptions of painting:
1. That which solves the question of volumes in a picture, as opposed to the liquefaction of objects favoured by the vision of the impressionists.
2. That which leads us to translate objects according to the force lines which distinguish them, and by which is obtained an absolutely new power of objective poetry. [ p. 17]
3. That (the natural consequence of the other two) which would give the emotional ambience of a picture, the synthesis of the various abstract rhythms of every object, from which there springs a fount of pictural lyricism hitherto unknown.


N.B.—All the ideas contained in this preface were developed at length in the lecture on Futurist Painting, delivered by the painter, Boccioni, at the Circolo Internazionale Artistico, at Rome, on May 29th, 1911. [p. 19]
Catalogue Structure
"Initial Manifesto of Futurism“ p. 3 -8
"The Exhibitors to the Public“, p. 9-19
"Catalogue“, cat. no. 1-34, p. 20-26
"Manifesto of the Futurist Painters“ p. 28-36
Additional Information
Traveling Exhibition
Catalogue Structure altered

+Gender Distribution (Pie Chart)

+Artists’ Age at Exhibition Start(Bar Chart)

+Artists’ Nationality(Pie Chart)

+Exhibiting Cities of Artists(Pie Chart)

+Catalogue Entries by Type of Work(Pie Chart)

+Catalogue Entries by Nationality(Pie Chart)

Name Date of Birth Date of Death Nationality # of Cat. Entries
Umberto Boccioni 1882 1916 IT 10
Gino Severini 1883 1966 IT 8
Carlo Carrà 1881 1966 IT 11
Luigi Russolo 1885 1947 IT 6
Recommended Citation: "Exhibition of works by the Italian Futurist Painters." In Database of Modern Exhibitions (DoME). European Paintings and Drawings 1905-1915. Last modified Aug 19, 2019. https://exhibitions.univie.ac.at/exhibition/432