Fortunato Depero

Fortunato Depero (Fund, March 30, 1892 – Rovereto, November 29, 1960) was an Italian painter, sculptor and designer

He was one of the signatories of the poster of the painting and representative of the so-called “second futurism”

Born in 1892 in Fondi, in Val di Non, Lorenzo Depero and Virginia Turri, both of which originated from the town of Vigo di Ton, still very young Depero moved to Rovereto (at that time both towns were territories of the Austro- Hungarian) Here he studied at the Elisabettian Royal School, an institute of art frequented by many artists who will later become protagonists of the Italian cultural landscape of the twentieth century

For the city of Rovereto they are difficult years, because although under Austrian rule, there are many irredentist movements that would like to annex it to Italy. In 1908 he tried to enroll at Vienna’s Fine Arts Academy but was rejected, So in 1910 he went to work in Turin as decorator at the International Exposition On his return to Rovereto he works from a marmistant, dealing with funeral tombstones Depero is very attracted to sculpture, which will characterize his future works. In particular, his passion for plastic arts It will be found in painting, “overpoweringly” volumetric and solidified Not only, but in this regard it is perhaps worth recalling that at the beginning Depero appeared as a sculptor

In the library, Giovannini twice exhibits some of his works, in 1911 and 1913. Also in 1913 publishes his first book, “Spezzature”, a collection of poems and thoughts accompanied by drawings. In December 1913 he remains impressed by the Umberto Boccioni exhibition in Rome , Where he knows many of his “idols”, including Giacomo Balla and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti Through the gallery, Sprovieri is able to exhibit, in Rome, at the “Futurismo Futurista Internazionale” exhibition in the spring of 1914, where he will be confronted with prestigious names

He then returned to Trentino to set up an exhibition in Trento but was informed of the outbreak of the First World War, so he moved to Rome Become a student of Giacomo Balla and succeeds in joining the circle of the first Futurist group In 1915, together with Balla, A manifesto that has become fundamental: “Futuristic reconstruction of the universe” Here Balla and Depero are self-proclaimed futuristic astrattists and praise a joyous universe, “colorful and luminous”

On the one hand, Depero’s adherence to Futurism was not unconditional. For example, he assumed from the beginning a critical position on Boccioni’s intention to “relearn the story”. He was, however, much closer to the ideas of his master Balla, considering him the pioneer of A thorough research into genesis and the functional structure of the form Such research will then be carried forward by Depero in a very discreet way within the Futurist group, locating and clarifying analytically the relationship between Futurism and other artistic currents that Cubism (of course) , In particular the Dadaism of Marcel Duchamp

On the other hand, paradoxically, Depero was more Futurist than the Futurists themselves Conventionally tends to define Depero as “a painter of the second futuristic” The term “second futurism” was introduced by Enrico Crispolti in the late 1950s: the “first Futurism “Was the” Heroic Futurism “, or the historical nucleus of 1909-1916, the second Futurism was the next, or that of Depero The watershed was represented by the date of death during World War I of Umberto Boccioni by Antonio Sant’Elia And Carlo Erba In truth, however, this division was used by many critics and art historians for a more ideological and non-stylistic contrast: the first futurism belonged to anarchist and socialist drawing artists; The second futurism was, on the other hand, fascist and philosophical artists. Yet beyond this, there was also a real difference in the approach to Futurism with respect to what it professed in its manifests: if the first Futurism proposed ” Bringing art into life, “was actually closed in galleries and museums (except for the” Futuristic Evenings “) and merely expressed through queen arts such as painting and sculpture. Second Futurism, on the other hand, right from the beginning “Balla and Depero’s” futuristic reconstruction of the universe, “he really entered the daily lives of people, and he did so thanks to advertising, furnishings, theatrical arrangements, fashion, architecture, post art, and so on

Also in 1915 Depero participated in irredentist movements and part for the forehead But he becomes ill and is reformed

Returning from War Prepares for a 1916 Exhibition Depero’s works, albeit influenced by Giacomo Balla, give more emphasis to the plastic impulse He also begins composing “noiseless” songs and creating the “onomalingua”, which he calls “abstract verbalization” It is a poetic language of “noisy” derivation, linked to the onomatopoeic use of phonemes and aimed at the scenic use, followed by “radio plays” in 1927, where inserts of such onomatopoeic compositions are used with playful effects

In 1916 Umberto Boccioni wrote about Depero in the magazine “Gli Eventi”

At the end of the year he knows the impresario of the famous “Ballets Russes”, Sergej Diaghilev, who visits the studio together with the painter Michail Fedorovič Larionov and choreographer and dancer Léonide Massine and commissioned him to make scenes and costumes for “The Singing Song “On Stravinsky’s music, but they will never be realized because Depero must also help Picasso with the costumes of” Parade ”

In 1917, he met with the Swiss poet Gilbert Clavel, with whom he concluded a friendship and work relationship. Guest of his villa tower in Capri, for Clavel Depero illustrates a book (“A Suicide Institute”) with mid-year drawings Futurism and Expressionism Afterwards, together with Clavel, he realized the “Teatro Plastico”, that is, performed by puppets called “Balli Plastici”. The show, while going to the Teatro dei Piccoli, in Rome (April 15, 1918), will be a vanguard , Both for the innovation of the elimination of the actors-dancers and for the avant-garde music composed by Béla Bartók, Gian Francesco Malipiero and others

Always during his stay in Capri creates his first “futuristic tapestries”, in fact mosaics of colorful fabrics. These are the first example of the transmigration of his theatrical inventions. His autos and puppets will become a leitmotif, not just on cloths But also in his paintings, and this dominant motive will outline what can now be defined as “Depero style”

After the theatrical experience, Depero will no longer come to the experimental route yet followed by Balla, but will change trajectories over the utopian formulations proposed by the “Futurist Reformation of the Universe.” Reconstruction provided for the overcoming of painting and sculpture to “redesign” And to “reproduce” futuristic every aspect of human life. However, for Depero, a pragmatic person, this program could only be implemented if real application and market possibilities were considered. It was not possible to reconstruct if it was once again closed in galleries And museums or limited to experimental exercises In order to bring the futuristic idea into people’s everyday life, it was necessary to use the applied arts. It is precisely from this conviction that will be born in Italy, starting from 1918, so-called “Case d ‘Futurist Art’: in Rome those by Enrico Prampolini, by Anton Giulio Bragaglia e Of his brother Carlo Ludovico, by Roberto Melli; In Bologna that of Tato; In Palermo that of Pippo Rizzo and in Rovereto that of Depero, but he will see the light lagging behind the others because of the various commitments of the artist

After a stay in Viareggio in 1918, Depero exhibited in Milan in 1919 at the Moretti Gallery, where Filippo Tommaso Marinetti assembled the best of post-war Futurism to revive the movement

And after so long Depero returns to Rovereto, finding it destroyed by the war Here, in 1919, he founded his own Futurist Art House, where he will produce advertising posters, furniture and more that will serve to furnish the modern home Depero is, however, attentive to Try to design objects that have a real utility as well as aesthetically characterized One of the great problems of futuristic art houses was that often these outposts came out of the same vanguard but unusable objects

Always in this period creates pictures of metaphysical atmosphere, which once again show how Depero was more attentive to futuristic ideals than to the style of movement

By 1920, DePero’s most important assignments for Umberto Notari, director of the Amrândia and the advertising agency “Le 3 I”: a series of posters and two great tapestries. In 1921 in Milan he exhibited at a personal exhibition, Moved to Rome where the “Cabaret of the Devil” began. In 1922, it was the turn of the Winter Club in Turin, a publicity show that used for the first time the launch of flyers from the futuristic-futuristic plane Fedele Azari In Rovereto, again in 1922, there are two futuristic viziers, where the art house is completely redecorated, which will then appear in the magazine “Rovente”

In 1923 he took part in the 1st Biennial of the decorative arts of the ISIA of Monza

In 1924 in Milan he staged the “Anihccam del 3000” mechanical ballet, replicated in twenty other Italian cities. In this period he realized the famous Futurist Pancakes worn by the main exponents of the movement In the same year he collaborated with the catalog of the forbidden entrepreneur Giuseppe Veni vd vtixes with three futuristic boards

In 1925 he participated with Balla and Prampolini, in a room dedicated to Futurism, at the International Exposition of Modern Decorative Arts and Industrial in Paris. This exhibition is very important for Depero, because it gives him the opportunity to meet many exponents that will make him try American paper After a personal show in Paris, he exhibits in New York (where he is a guest for a short time by Italian painter Lucillo Grassi), Boston and Chicago Finally is in Venice at the Biennial of 1926, where he exhibits the “Exquisite Selz “dedicated to the Commendator Campari Episode that will mark the beginning of a professional partnership with the well-known liqueur firm

1927 is a crucial year for Depero Pubblica for the types of Dinamo-Azari in Milan, the monograph “Depero futurista”, better known as the “bureaucratized book”, to celebrate fourteen years of militancy in Futurism. This is in general a ‘ The evolution of Futurist typography launched by Marinetti about twenty years earlier, but in particular the first example of book-object The volume is characterized by a very varied layout, with lines aligned in multiple ways and with pages of different grammage and color. All kept together thanks to two large mechanical bolts

Depero is also present at the 3rd International Exhibition of Decorative Art in Monza with the Typographic Pavilion (or Book Pavilion) for the Bestetti-Tumminelli and Treves publishers. He also participates in the Quadriennale of Turin at the Futurist exhibition in Milan and organizes a personal exhibition in Messina

Between 1924 and 1928 Depero worked with many companies, including Alberti (producer of Liquor Witches), Schering (Veramon), Bernocchi, and the already mentioned Campari making for the latter hundreds of advertising proposals. The relationship Depero had with the réclame was particular If in general publicity was seen by the Futurists as a good eye, and indeed, considered “new art of the modern world”, Depero was in particular to support it with greater commitment to becoming the most Authoritative advertising billboard among Futurists Not only, but a few years later will find the way to condense his point of view in this regard in the “Poster of Advertising Art”

In 1928, stressed by the triumphal experiences described by his colleagues, Depero moved to New York with his wife Rosetta Qui, a friend’s friend, works unhindered in hopes of getting a good clientele Try to export to America the idea of Rovereto’s Futurist Art House (which will be named Depero’s Futurist House in New York) Maintains paintings, publicity, restaurant settings, costume design and choreography for the theater, draws magazine covers More in general porta Pursuing a multi-faceted activity that is perfectly in line with what theorized since the drafting of the poster for the “Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe”

At the beginning of 1929, the year of the fall of Wall Street, Depero set up his first personal exhibition of paintings at the Guarino Gallery of Contemporary Italian Art The catalog is strictly laid out according to the criteria adopted by other avant-garde members: punctuated text Written using only the tiny most profitable but work for the theater, but even more for advertising Depero in New York has the opportunity to come back to a longtime friend, Massine, presented by Leon Leonidoff, artistic director of the ” Roxy Theater “And with that theater he will then launch a collaboration. Coverings for major magazines such as Vanity Fair, Vogue, Sparks, The New Auto Atlas, The New Yorker, Dance Magazine and “Movie Makers”, and has the opportunity to create réclame for companies such as the Macy’s department stores. Also, the renovation of two restaurants: the Enrico & Paglieri and the Pumpkin In The Overture Brew of 1929 exhibits an exhibition of advertising works at the “Advertising Club”. This initiative is co-opted by BBDO, one of the most important advertising agencies in the world, to carry out the campaign of the American Lead Pencil Company

From a purely stylistic point of view, both on the side of the advertising graphics and on the side of the cover, Depero remains largely faithful to his method of continuous iconographic revision of ideas that have already been widely tested at home. The characters of his works are almost always puppets, Coming from the world of the theater The graphic design of the pages is almost always entrusted to a certain diagonalism, expedient that can give dynamism to the composition itself The geometric figure par excellence is the parallelepiped Lights and colors are played on strong contrasts, with a preference in Use of white, black, and red to strengthen biton values ​​In the face of careful figurative construction, however, Depero lacks a cure for the written part, although this type of approach to graphics was similar to that of Russian constructivism More generally you can not consider Depero an innovator d She’s the graphic of her time, as Cassandre was, for example. But her aggressive approach, her strong sign and her iconography will undoubtedly influence some of the next advertising graphics

In any case, American experience will be an advantage over other colleagues who have never moved from Italy to what can be termed a process of “repression”

Having left America in full economic recession, Depero returned to Italy in 1930 and exhibited with the Futurist group at the Fourth National Art Nouveau at Rome. However, he is caught up with a new course in Futurism: Aeropittura The previous year Had signed the manifesto for loyalty to Marinetti rather than a real belief Depero was a person “with his feet on the ground”, and not at all fascinated by airplanes and clouds (and the 1922 flight with Azari was instrumental: he needed to make Not only that, but now his observation point was paradoxically higher than the one achievable with futuristic planes: he had been in the city of New York and had touched with his hand that “the only future wretched and theorized by the Futurists Italian Buildings that The sky, the tombs of roads, the rampways and the underground streets, all done. Unfortunately, the feeling that this experience leaves in Depero is not that of “solar” quality and yes A bitter of life dreamed by Futurists, but rather a kind of “babel swarming with grasshoppers.” And it will be this disillusionment that will lead Depero, in the years to come, to take refuge more and more in the concrete and healthy values ​​of nature. But this change Of course, however, can be noticed at both stylistic and thematic levels: progressive abandonment of warm colors and diagonals for the benefit of cold colors and orthogonality; Progressive abandonment of follies and puppets for the benefit of motives and characters from Italic folklore

In the early thirties Depero worked for various newspapers: “The Italian Illustration”, “The Illustrated Century”, “The Evening”

In 1931, he published the Futurista Publicity Poster, which was already drafted in New York in 1929. According to Depero, the advertising image had to be fast, synthetic, fascinating, with large color shades of color in order to increase the dynamism Of communication

In 1932 he first exhibited in a personal room at the XVIII Biennale of Venice, and then at the V Triennale of Milan A Rovereto publishes a magazine whose only five figures will be released in 1933: “Dinamo Futurista”. In 1934, later, the “Radiofire Liriche” , Which will also declare at EIAR (the Rai of then). In 1934 he participated in the Plastics Museum of Genoa and in 1936 again at the Venice Biennale

Hence, it is increasingly withdrawn in Trentino Participation in futuristic official activities (aero) is becoming more and more rare: this involves, on the one hand, its progressive marginalization from the movement, but on the other hand it turns it into a legendary figure Many will be the Futurists of “third generation” to go to “pilgrimage” to Rovereto, to give him homage or to involve him in some initiative. In any case his isolation will take him away also from an important source of revenue: advertising Advertising which, incidentally , In those years was evolving in directions no longer suited to the colorful Deperian goblins Depero’s principal buyers are thus corporations, party secretariats, large hotels, public administrations, local industries Required works are eminently didactic, propagandistic, decorative

Towards the second half of the 1930s, due to the austerity due to autarchic policy, he was involved in the revival of Buxus, a cellulose-based material that replaces wood veneer, patented and produced by Bosso Paper. Thanks to this work He manages to find his own creative vein, realizing a whole series of objects with such material

In 1940 he published his “Autobiography” In 1942 he made a great mosaic for the E42 in Rome, and in 1943 with “A Passo Romano” he tried to demonstrate his substantial alignment with the most dynamic part of Fascism, also to get his work and Committed Then, with the commencement of city air bombings, he retires to his mountain hermitage at Serrada di Folgaria, definitively ceasing the experience of the Futurist Art House of Rovereto

After the war, in an effort to justify the new order of the Italian state for that openly fascist book, he states that they, the Futurists, firmly believed that Fascism would have brought about the triumph of Futurism and that he also needed ” To eat »

In 1947, partially sponsored by the Cartier Bosso, retorts America’s card, but finds it hostile to Futurism because it considered the art of fascism. In 1949 he returned to Italy and, although disillusioned and now sixty years old, did not intend to stop: She first participates in an exhibition in Milan and later in Venice

During the 1950s (1949-1959), Depero joined the project of the Verzocchi collection on the subject of work, sending, in addition to a self-portrait, the work “Tornio e telaio”. The Verzocchi collection is currently kept at the Pinacoteca Civica di Forlì Period corresponds with many other artists and with admirers like Eraldo Di Vita, now art critic in Milan

In 1951 he launched his manifesto on the Nuclear Art. In 1953 and 1956 he set up, decorated and decorated the council room of the Autonomous Province of Trento. Meanwhile (1955) he entered into controversy with the Venice Biennale, accused of censoring him and Futurism After 1916 (Boccioni’s death year), publishing a quotation (“Antibiennale”) where he contests and anticipates what will be the trends of criticism of Futurism there for many years

In 1957 he began to set up the Depero Gallery Museum dedicated to his works in Rovereto. It will be inaugurated two years later, in 1959

Fortunato Depero died in Rovereto on November 29, 1960

In 1965 a retrospective was devoted to him in the IX Quadriennale of Rome From the very beginning of the seventies his revaluation began, but only in recent years, also following the removal of many prejudices about the so-called “Futuristic Secondary” -fascist and smaller than the first Futurism), the overall value of his work was understood

On January 17, 2009, after a restoration, the Depero Futurist Art House reopened as the museum’s headquarters in Mart di Rovereto. Inside there are some of the major works of Fortunato Depero

The Depero archive, made up of autographs, correspondence, sketches, photographs and prints, is kept at the Archives of the 900 Mart

Depero first painted sketches of poor materials (metal wires, glasses, cartoons, veline papers) that encircle the dream of a complete artwork, capable of encompassing all the languages ​​of artistic research, painting and sculpture, Music, architecture Built with mechanisms capable of making them move, plastic complexes move from the theories expressed in the futuristic reconstruction manifesto of the universe, then immerses in fashion and begins to use printed fabric of optical art, based on white geometric patterns Black, or pop art, with glittering colors to produce his “pants”