Futurism (Latin futurum = future) developed in Italy around 1909/1910 as an avant-garde movement that wanted to break with everything preceding. Futurism was not only restricted to visual arts, but had a holistic approach, which was to comprise all areas of life. The futurists published some 50 manifestos between 1909 and 1916, which programmatically addressed theater, literature, "Noise Art" and other categories.
Futurist artists had anti-academic intentions, they compared museums with cemeteries and were instead promoting an esthetic with a matter-dissolving dynamic. Accordingly, Futurism, just as Cubism, examined the fragmentation of forms. The futurist approach, however, did not only comprise the purely cubist fragmentation of figures, they wanted to visualize several motion sequence s in the picture, similar to "Chronophotography" - a photo that is multiple exposed.
The concept of time therefor played a central role in futurist art. The simultaneousness of dynamic processes was intended as a means to illustrate technological advances and the movement's strong belief progress and the future. Thus the compositions become more rhythmic and fragmentary, as movement cannot integrate into a given frame. The artists developed a quick and vibrant flow, perspective and outlines vanish, colors and forms show resemblance. In plastic art they also attempted to capture single motion sequences and the pace of the technological world in an object, so that the figure seems to be fragmented, as it is the case in Umberto Boccioni's work "Einzigartige Formen der Kontinuität im Raum" (Unique Forms of Continuity in Space).
In terms of socio-historical concerns, the futurist's fascination with speed was borne from the desire to restructure society in the process of progress with all its technological innovations. Futurism's founding manifesto was written by poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and published on 20 February 1909 in "Le Figaro", accordingly, he proclaimed to break with all traditions. The futurists saw an opportunity in war, they wanted to cleanse the world from all old-fashioned and outdated ideologies and start all over. This aggressive militarism shows the dark side of Futurism, which can be seen in close connection with Italian Fascism.
However, their attempt to overcome all traditional genre borders, is of high value for the avant-garde and was taken on by Dadaism. In terms of philosophy, the futurists were close to the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche and Henri Bergson.
Among the most important artists count Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Luigi Russolo and Gino Severini. Futurist architects were Antonio Sant`Elia and Mario Chiattone.