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Railways in Art
Various artists
from 15 april to 30 september 2023

Futurism has represented one of the most revolutionary artistic movements in history, tirelessly proposing an innovative and dynamic vision of the world as a thundering invitation and example of epistemological rupture, in which the old forms and conceptions have been superseded at great speed by always new ways of seeing and to represent reality. Futurism is, and will always be, rightfully one of the most important and influential movements of the 20th century, since it tried to emphasize the importance of the future and of progress – and do not think merely at the expense of the past – but as an element of cultural, social and thought renewal through the exaltation of energy and power, of renewal, of technological and industrial progress. This suggests that history and culture themselves are processes in constant flux, in which the past must constantly be re-read and revisited in a new way in a continuous process of innovation and regeneration, in which the past and the present combine and transform to break through the mysterious doors of the impossible and build the future.

And if time and space died yesterday, in this context, the train is truly a timeless and spaceless symbol that even then represented a key element for the Futurist imagination since it was capable of expressing the truly Futurist effects associated with speed, innovation and simultaneity while embodying the noise and power of progress and modernity. But that even today, in retrospect, it can be said that it represents the true and proper DNA and thought of the Futurist movement, as the train was one of the most important means of transport in history and in the industrial era but is still a means in "continuous movement" and deeply current that has contributed and contributes to the process of connection and modernization of the world. Forever the quintessential machine of modernity, symbol of progress and speed, soundtrack of the future that has pierced the millenary silence of nature and the countryside.

For example, the train occupies a central position in the paintings and woodcuts of Boccioni's "Stati d'animo" of 1911, making itself departure and farewell, state of mind, but the train is also the simultaneous movement of an object in space such as in “Dynamism of a running train" by Russolo, made in the same year, in this case a night train, suggested through a decomposition of the image. Baldessari (1916), Corona (1919) and Pippo Rizzo (1929) are present in shows each of them with a specific and unique dynamic rendering of the train. Baldessari, for example, uses Boccioni's force lines to suggest the movement of the train, while Corona fixes the shape of the train several times, superimposing and suggesting the movement's scansion. Finally, Pippo Rizzo adds the row of wagons in a long curve to emphasize speed.Depero focuses on the "futuristic" meaning of the train as a strong symbol of modernity showing us how the train is the paradigm of the future and modern city and also surprises with the plastic drawing of the "Train born from the sun". Giulio D'Anna, uses the train to cross Sicily and offer us dream visions made of Mediterranean light and colours. Singular is the vision of Carlo Carrà who in the drawing of 1913 does not figure the train but suggests it through a "synthesis of the landscape of speed from a train". In the same way, Futurluca (a pupil of Balla) gives us a multicolored vision and somewhat abstract of a railway station, in which the train is not present, but the swirl of shapes and colors nonetheless suggests its dynamic presence.To conclude this overview of the most representative artists of the exhibition (but there are others that are still interesting, including Conti, Ciacelli, Erba and Sironi), it is important to mention the complex and almost futur-surreal "urban landscape collage" by Vinicio Paladini, in which, between Futurism and Constructivism, the train communicates from a distance with a car in a bare but floral landscape.

Tested by Maurizio Scudiero, in full Marinettian style, the exhibition "Futurism and Trains" aims to explore this profound relationship between Futurism and the train, presenting a series of exemplary works that highlight the truly futuristic effects associated with speed - and not only . The exhibition aims to stimulate reflection on the relationship between technology, society, art and progress, proposing an innovative and dynamic vision of the world through the speed and power of the train as a symbol of the future and of modernity, but also the very essence of modern life, now more than ever characterized by the speed and acceleration of time.

Through the exhibition "Futurism and Trains", the Futurism&co gallery pays homage once again to this timeless and revolutionary movement, exploring its main themes and its relationship with the world of industry and progress. The exhibition represents a unique opportunity to deepen the knowledge of Futurism and to reflect once again on its topicality and relevance in the contemporary world.

Alice Zucca