I love Futurism. Their art, their passion, and their obnoxious behavior never fails to amuse me. Their manifestos show this wonderful sense of irreverence and fun that would continue with other movement such as Dada and Surrealism. On that, I am going to compare the two books dedicated to the Italian art movement. While British and Russian chapters of Futurism existed, the original Italian movement remains the most known.
The small thick book Futurism by co-authors Caroline Tisdall and Angelo Bozzolla devotes itself to analysing the mediums, history, and mentality the Futurists contributed and created by chapter. For example, they dedicate one chapter to Futurist music and another to how Futurists treated women. Not only did they give information on women Futurists, this chapter revealed a paradox the male Futurists found themselves in when deciding how they treat the opposite sex. They wanted to treat women as inferior, but this kind of sexism has had a long tradition, and Futurists hated traditions. This forever left them in a bind. On reproductions, every other page has newspapers, artwork, and photography, portraits, and sculpture littered throughout the book.
Every chapter in this book provides an incredible amount of detail on the who, what, when, where, why, and how of Futurism. Next to owning the writings of the Futurists themselves, this book makes for an essential piece of ones’ collection of Modern art history.
In contrast, Sylvia Martin’s Futurism does not have as much detail, but it does make for a nice addition for someone who wants an introductory look into the movement. Published by Taschen, this large and colorful paperback divides chapters by artwork and artist. There, Martin provides short, but simple historical analysis of each work. At the beginning, this book does have a good introductory chapter on the Futurists with quotes by the members and a timeline that gives the reader context. Reproductions wise, this book does a better job than the Tisdall does. Colorful and bright, you will enjoy looking at the Futurist paintings and sculpture in all their marvelous detail.