Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Joseph Stella's Futurism

This week we are going to jump to the 20th century and look at Futurism in art and music. Futurism is an avant-garde movement that used technology and modernity as its inspiration. It especially draws from the new machinery during this era.

Joseph Stella (1877-1946) is one example of an artist who favored Futurism in his work. After discovering this type of art while visiting Paris, Stella returned home to New York City and decided that he wanted to be able to show modern life in his art. One famous example of his Futurist art is Brooklyn Bridge.

Stella's Brooklyn Bridge Courtesy of wikimedia.org 
Can you see machinery or examples of the modern era displayed in this work? What appears to be a traffic light can be found in the lower middle section. Cables run diagonally throughout the piece. Notice what appear to be the bridge towers at the top and a subway tunnel toward the bottom right. In this approach to art, nothing is exactly clear; rather it reflects the complexity of the time by using abstract representation. 


Join me next time as we look at how composer Edgard Varese used Futurism in his music!

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