The Italian Almanac

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futurist painting

Italian Art - April 6

The rampant colours and violent energy of Italian Futurists are returning to the city where they threw down the gauntlet to the art world - but this time in triumph rather than indifference. The show at Paris's Grand Palais ranges from the vibrant hues of Umberto Boccioni to the monumental expressionism of Mario Sironi, the neo-primitivism of Carlo Carra' and the eerie urban landscapes of Giorgio De Chirico.

When the Futurist Artists responded to poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's call for fast and furious art to mirror the new Machine Age, their manifesto was published on the front page of Parisian daily Le Figaro in 1909. But their cry of rebellion - "Make room for youth, for violence, for daring!" - was greeted with disdain by French painters, who thought themselves far too sophisticated to waste time on the Italian upstarts.

Now it's a different story. Art historians have long recognised the part played by Futurism in shaking up the sleepy art world of the turn of the century, according them an honoured place between the Impressionists and the Cubists. That's why the Futurist show is expected to be one of the biggest draws of the Paris art season.

'Italia Nova', which also features key paintings from Rome and Turin's modern art galleries, runs at the Grand Palais until July 3.