Style of steel
Fortunato Depero in ‘dynamoland’
in Italian futurism and the machine
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Fortunato Depero developed a pragmatic, multi-layered and polarised approach to the machine, oscillating between artisan and industrial practice, traditional craftsmanship and the appeal of radically modern modalities of production and consumption. Depero’s machine aesthetics spanned a vast field, from mechanised fairy-tales and robotic puppets in plastic merry-go-rounds (Balli plastici) to a distinctively metallised machine form (‘style of steel’). Depero’s expatriations away from the rural periphery of Rovereto in north-eastern Italy to the hub of technological capitalism in New York were conversant with standardisation, engineering and industry. Depero’s urban modernity was encoded in the New York skyscraper. The chapter considers the collaboration between Depero and Fedele Azari.


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