1916, Verona, Monumental Cemetery. In the rain, there are many, many mourning the early death of the great futurist exponent Umberto Boccioni: he leaves a complete and heavy 'legacy', the Realized Dream of the Manifesto enunciated by Marinetti in 1910, and a veil of uncertainty: what will happen to the Bold Movement, after one of its milestones fell? Futurism, what destiny will it travel, where Boccioni himself had imprinted on it those characteristics of speed, movement and swirling dynamism, which had made the Current already unique in its kind? And how to heal the wound left by the departure of two other futurist geniuses, Carra 'and Severini, captured by the fascinating links of Cubism? The moment is full of uncertainty, of doubt, of apparent darkness; but here, in a sort of lunar, crepuscular atmosphere, the disappearance of the great artist opens the way to some star seeds thrown on the ground, around his tombstone: the Movement moves to Rome, close to its creator, Marinetti , and starts anew by looking at constructivism, cubism and then surrealism. We are in 1918, just two years after Boccioni's death, and those who are left escape with their minds: suddenly, opening their wings after the void of mourning, the Aeropainting takes off.
These are important years, linked to important Italian primates, there is the Flight over Vienna and River of D 'Annunzio, the Aermacchi seaplane races on the Great Lakes, the desire to leap upwards to chase the Verde Baleno, to project oneself 'outside' the Planet, in a completely extra-terrestrial perspective that, romantically, artistically, will open the way to the first perception of the Satellite Man: samples of these Fantastic Flights in which the topography is contemplated from Above are D 'Anna, Tato, Sibo', but there is no shortage of female contributions, with mixes of Surrealism and Aeropainting, see for example Leandra Angelucci, fascinated by the Eyes of the Cosmos. But obviously not all that shines is gold: the resumption of the heroic momentum and interpreter of the contemporary world that flies, and that shouts 'Me Ne Frego!' By those who continued after Boccioni's death, attracts fierce criticism, especially by those who do not look favorably on the Mussolini Government and by those who do not intend to leave the Boccionicentric Vision: the new futurists are labeled with contempt, called minor artists, or even imitators, counterfeiters, epigones, successors without great ideas - such as always, only Posterity will give them back the right place that belongs to these forgotten and even a little mistreated star seeds. The same Florentine poet Giovanni Papini, who participated in Futurism for short periods, admitted with discouragement that in the post Boccioni period the bold Futurist generation had almost disappeared. Without the invaluable work of the great critic Enrico Crispolti, in fact, much of the production of the Second Futurism, taking some names such as Prampolini and Fillia, would have been totally ignored, ending up in the twilight of the dark side of the Moon, where ideas go to sleep.
Fortunately, this was not the case and thanks to Crispolti, the Second Futurism, from 1958 onwards, was able to find its rightful place among the European avant-gardes. Slowly, in what was considered only the less luminous and numinous tail of the comet, the negligible train of cosmic debris, important names began to emerge, and above all a quantity, a myriad, of constellations in formation: Depero, Prampolini, Fillia , Doctors, Sibo ', D'Anna, Tato, Angelucci, Cangiullo, and again Balla, Russolo, Severini himself, as a hit and run ... However, artistic criticism is divided - in Marchiori it is possible to identify a strong opinion in contrast with that of Crispolti *: "The degeneration of futurism prevented a fair judgment on Boccioni, Carrà, Balla, Russolo, Sant’Elia, Severini, Soffici, who had supported the confrontation with the avant-garde artists of all of Europe. They could not be confused with the "mystics" and with the volunteers of the aeropainting with the occasional wingmen of the academic avant-garde. " The diatribe to fix the lines of the Second Futurism, even temporal ones, will go on for a while longer, with the question and answer between the various Crispolti, Calvesi, Marchiori, Mariani, Viazzi, where for example, Crispolti will respond annoyed to the Marchiori that calling the Second Futurism with the name of "Minor Futurism" was an offense and an injustice: the vexed question is not yet completely resolved, since the rediscoveries, implemented above all by large galleries and courageous collectors, are updated continuously: therefore, the contribution of Giancarlo and Massimo Carpi, but also of Fiorella La Lumia with their son, Flavio Lattuada, was extremely precious: for niche collecting, such as Futurist painting, the opportunity 'to meet new names almost unknown to the general public represents an opportunity not only to broaden the knowledge of this Artistic Current which too unjustly has been neglected due to a related prejudice to Fascism, but also to be able to make True Culture, free from political orientations, and therefore look in perspective what the twentieth century really was in the completeness of its avant-gardes. From this point of view, this exhibition is doubly of great value, and therefore deserves full applause.
* For critical dilemmas, see the study of Sayaka Yokota, “ Il “secondo” futurismo: il problema della periodizzazione ed i suoi studi.”