The man-machine
The modern sports of cycling and motor racing
in Sport and modernism in the visual arts in Europe, c. 1909–39
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The first part of this chapter compares three paintings of racing cyclist produced across Europe in quick succession during 1912–13. The works are by the expressionist Lyonel Feininger, the cubist Jean Metzinger and the Italian futurist Umberto Boccioni. The second half of the chapter looks at responses to motor-racing from Germany, Italy and France. Starting with the futurist F. T. Marinetti’s notorious infatuation with the motorcar, the chapter then considers the importance of the automobile to the purist project of Le Corbusier and Amédée Ozenfant. The chapter concludes by looking at a pair of articles that Werner Graeff wrote for the journal G. Although there are many similarities between Graeff’s attitude and those of the purists, it is Graeff who is most uncompromising in his vision of a modern artist-engineer.

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