6 May 2010
HIST348, Essay 2
The masterpieces of Futurism and the Bauhaus movement, Umberto Boccioni’s sculpture “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space” and Lyonel Feininger’s print “Cathedral for the State Bauhaus in Weimar” respectively, are pieces of art that represent two very different art movements begun by F.T. Marinetti’s “The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism” and Walter Gropius’s “Programme of the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar”. The movements are able to show society at a certain point in time and what their thoughts were on the past, present, and future.
Both art movements came at very different times in European history and as a result two very different concepts on the place of society emerged. Marinetti’s “Futurist Manifesto” (1909) was written in Italy right before World War I which began in 1914, whereas Gropius’s “Programme of the Staatliche Bauhaus” (1919) was written in post-WWI Germany. Although the difference between the two is only ten years, World War I served as a major event that not only changed the mindset of the people but also the goal of art within the European culture.
Marinetti’s “Futurist Manifesto” came at a time when many European men, like Marinetti himself, were disillusioned about the idea of war. The “Futurist Manifesto” presented a violent and hyper-masculine tone which can be seen in point nine where Marinetti stated, “We wish to glorify war – the sole cleanser of the world – militarism, patriotism, the destructive act of the libertarian, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for women” (Marinetti, 14). Like other European men, Marinetti’s only experience with war was “colonial warfare” which represented an unbalanced and unfair fight between the colonizers and colonists. In addition, “colonial warfare” was fought far enough from Europe that many Europeans did not fully understand the atrocities of war. Europeans in general, were physically and mentally far away from war, yet the idea of...