Italian Futurism and American Modernism: Exhibition Practices, Collecting, and Transnationalism (1909-1929)
Colombari, Lucia, History of Art and Architecture - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Turner, Elizabeth, University of Virginia
"Italian Futurism and American Modernism: Exhibition Practices, Collecting, and Transnationalism (1909-1929)" critically examines the role of international exhibitions in the reception, dissemination, and transformation of Italian Futurism in the United States during the first decades of the twentieth century. It reframes what constituted Futurism beyond its national borders and demonstrates how four influential exhibits informed the diverse configurations of the movement across the Atlantic. The reception of Futurism in the United States was a multi-layered process of dissemination rooted in the exhibitory practices of the time. By interrogating exhibitions as highly politicized spaces in which art, national identities, and international diplomacy intertwined, this dissertation seeks to elucidate the complex artistic and cultural relations between the United States and Italy during the early decades of the twentieth century. In particular, it sheds light on the role of international exhibitions as vehicles for the transposition of the cultural knowledge of modern Italy across the Atlantic. The study brings the cultural and political histories of both countries to bear to illuminate local responses and international postures towards urban life in visual culture and art practice. It analyzes Futurism through a transnational lens and determines the pervasiveness of specific and shifting translations of the Italian movement on American shores. The exhibits investigated fostered debates about modern art and became a catalyst for disseminating Futurist ideas and philosophy. In turn, American artists applied these theoretical and pictorial solutions in utterly heterogeneous and eclectic ways to capture the aesthetic potential of technology and urban transformations.
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Futurism, Exhibitions, Modern art
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