An unstoppable flow of energy impetuously snaked its way through European and Italian culture during the early twentieth century.
Acting as spokespersons for this Italian setting – to the apotheosis – were Gabriele d’Annunzio, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and all of those artists and intellectuals who had marked (often in an exasperated and thunderous manner) the art environment during the first decades of the century as they were yearning to abandon traditional culture (considered stale and inert) and register the explosion of new forms, new objects and new customs of modernity in the lifestyles of their times. A sort of modernity whose pace and rhythm had to be aggressive and self-assured – in other words, fast.
The automobile, actual object of an explosive industrial and social revolution, was the undisputed protagonist of modernist enthusiasm: the “vehement god of a race of steel” as Marinetti put it. And along with it came steamships, locomotives, airplanes, robots, unheard of and very fast means of communication that began to inhabit a growingly widespread futuristic imagery that is reflected in emerging advertising communication field.
In fact posters, flyers, brochures, illustrated magazines credited with powerful communication and widespread distribution were fast and renewed vehicles of commercial propaganda suitable for advertising inventions and products of modernity; but they were also a junction between industrial productions and consumer art dedicated to the new urban masses – often becoming an unscrupulous testing ground crossed by dynamic lines and energetic coloured vectors, populated by raging engines, unstoppable propellers, menageries with more or less realistic animals, odd silhouettes and limber little mechanical men.
Plinio Codognato, Primo Sinopico, Erberto Carboni, Marcello Nizzoli, Aldo Mazza just to mention a few of the most imaginative and brilliant artists and illustrators of the time – who with their inventions and their surprising insights gave body, shape, light to the movement and pace of their times, coming together as authors, players and powerful communicators (in real time) of new artistic research and very contemporary figurative experimentations.