Futurist canons and the development of avant-garde historiography (Futurism – Expressionism – Dada)
in Back to the Futurists
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This chapter examines the traces of a wide array of interpretations and misinterpretations that Futurism triggered in Germany, and the effect they had on defining a new model of avant-garde practice. When the Futurists first appeared in Germany in 1912, the majority of their works were acquired by the banker Wolfgang Borchardt through the intercession of Herwarth Walden. The overabundance of emotive elements in the artwork, which Paul Fechter saw as a symptom of Futurism's inferiority to Expressionism, became the basis for representing the most contemporary of phenomena, metropolitan chaos. Futurism could not be dismissed as the oldest (and unfulfilled) element of a dialectical opposition on the path of progressive history, as was the case with Expressionism. Through Bruitism, Dadaism attempted to englobe and assimilate Futurism not as an external temporal reference but as an internal practice and mindset.

Back to the Futurists

The avant-garde and its Legacy

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