The following is the introduction to the catalog accompanying the show Futurism: Concepts and Imaginings at the Boca Museum of Art, Florida: January 10 – March 30, 2014.

The last thing that an Italian Futurist artist would countenance was art criticism that idealized their art or “embalmed” it in complex abstractions that they felt were fit for academe. The Futurists would have preferred that their shows create noise, demonstration or expressions in movement that enacted response to their works, decidedly aimed to stir the viewer or listener. Italian Futurism was realized not only in painting, but in music, design, and even cuisine, and aimed at transformation well beyond aesthetics or art history.

Their imaginative works demanded their own vocabulary outside the realm of the usual artspeak that they believed cloyed the progress of all art, theirs in particular. We venture some words to express our sense of the Futurists’ works. First, fresh. Futurism remains fresh in its energy and vitality, in its proponents’ refreshing and increasingly rare freedom from self-exploration and self indulgence. Their focus held steady on energy, light and motion, or, recalling the title of one of Futurism’s landmark masterpieces, on unique forms of energy in space. From the earliest Futurist works and the industrial age inspiration for those works in the early 1900’s to the present day the movement retains interest. It is “news that stays news” as reflections of industry, social upheaval and war itself all the while embracing the modern world’s emblems of the machine age. Departing forcefully from the impressionistic style of the 19th century landscape, the representative, ideal figures of Raphaelite realism, the emerging analytical forms of Cubism and mind expanding proposals of Surrealism. Futurism’s birth stands apart from the linear traditions that derived empirically from the logic and style of predecessor work.

We have come to know Italian Futurism and to take an interest in collecting Futurist art inspired initially through a dear friend of 35 years, modern Futurist artist Edward Giobbi. In Ed’s prolific, sharp and perceptive Futurist oeuvre the constant sense of vitality, the swift erasure of ego and the avoidance of the social and academic worlds of art, all replaced by stunning, energy driven color, shape and image have made this movement irresistibly engaging and evocative. The paintings and drawings on display include concepts, ruminations, imaginative “blueprints” and finished works using a variety of materials to express the directions the artists’ works were taking and would take over the years ahead. We hope you enjoy this exhibit.

The Boca Raton Museum’s dedicated leadership deserves our applause for featuring Italian Futurists on its exciting calendar of modern and contemporary art and for presenting consistently fresh approaches to the understanding and appreciation of art.

Stefano and Carole Haarmann Acunto