Futurism, Territory and War in the Work of Fortunato Depero
Journal of War and Cultural Studies | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2015
The work of the Italian futurist artist Fortunato Depero (1892–1960) conveys the geographic, cultural, and personal dislocation brought about by military conflict. Taking as its subject a series of artworks by the artist from the late 1910s and early 1920s, this article demonstrates how Depero’s perception of Trentino – the region in which he was born – was transformed during World War I. As I argue, in works such as La Città meccanizzata dalle ombre, Serrada and Padre e figlio di legno of 1920 Depero explored the radical upending of Italian society, and the profound destabilization of concepts of self, of home and of national identity, that took place as a result of the war.
Research for this article was undertaken in 2013 while a Visiting Scholar at the Italian Studies Department at New York University and in Rovereto, Italy while on a Special Studies Programme (Long) supported by the University of Melbourne. I would like to thank Ara Merjian of New York University, and the staff at the archive of the Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rovereto, for their support and assistance.