Futurism and Milan
Spanning all manner of media, from oil on canvas to bronze sculpture, Futurism began in Milan over a century ago. Today, the city remains the movement’s capital, where museums and even restaurants pay homage to the genre.
Filippo Marinetti was a polymath of many creative expressions, most famous of which was Futurism. In 1909, he laid down his manifesto, calling for a revolutionary method of art to reflect the technological advancements and new-fangled sensations of the modern age. Art, he argued, need not be superseded by technology, but rather should adapt and change to mimic it expressively.
Any tour of Milanese Futurism should begin with the home where it all started: Via Senato 2. Marinetti resided here until 1912; the roots of his Futuristic ideal began within, influenced and shaped by the sights and sounds the artist witnessed during his time in a city on the move. Today there is nothing to see here, except a plaque to one of the city’s most preeminent resident and the founder of a movement that shaped the modern art world.
Via Senato 2, Milan 20121
Casa Museo Boschi Di Stefano
When it comes to 20th-century Italian art, no collection comes close to that of Antonio Boschi and Marieda Stefano. The distinguished couple were enthusiastic patrons of modern Italian art. Over their lifetimes, they collected an astonishing 2,000 works of art, displaying them in their opulent Art Deco apartment.
After their deaths, the art and the apartment were donated to the Municipality of Milan. Three hundred of the most important pieces were selected, and the gorgeous apartment converted to a boutique museum. Here, visitors can meander through 11 distinct rooms, each immaculately appointed with modern Italian art, spanning the birth of Futurism to the close of the 1960s. In the museum, the bold colours and vibrant strokes of each painting communicate with the vigour of each sculpture, and even the geometric, lightfilled interiors of the casa museo itself. Altogether, they provide a unique impression of 20th-century Italian art.
Via Giorgio, Milan 20129
02 8846 3614
Pinacoteca di Brera
Milan’s principal museum needs no introduction. Housed in a glorious baroque palazzo designed by Francesco Richini in the 17th century, its collections trace the momentous contributions of Italian art through the centuries. Household names such as Piero della Francesca, Bellini, Caravaggio, are commonplace in its art-studded halls. Yet, for the Futurist, there is an abundance of modern Milanese art. The standing collection details the many strands of Futurism that arose during the movement’s explosive lifetime: excited works of the frenetic Boccioni rub shoulders with the stark portraits of Modigliani and the atmospheric worlds of Carrà.
Via Brera 28, Milan 20121
02 7226 3230
Museo del Novecento
Milan’s Museo del Novecento was commissioned exclusively to highlight the importance of 20th-century art and to elucidate the extraordinary collections Milan has inherited over the past century. The museum frequently showcases contemporary and modern exhibitions, flitting between the titans of the modernist art movement to the obscure yet equally brilliant names they inspired – with exhibitions often venturing into the contemporary.
At the heart of the museum, however, lies the standing collection: several floors of expertly curated 20th-century art, arranged chronologically to explore modern art’s great divergence from classicalism. A great, Guggenheim-esque spiral ramp connects the museum’s floors, one of the central city’s grandest architectural installations. Not to be missed are the works of Umberto Boccioni, Gino Severini, and Giacomo Balla gracing the museum’s collection.
Piazza Duomo 8, Milan 20123
02 884 440 62
Ristorante Lacerba takes the sensory experience of Futurism to the next level. The delicious restaurant-cum-cocktail lounge takes its inspiration from the famous Futurist magazine, Lacerba, which was first printed in 1913. Its walls are draped in Art Deco design and Futurist-inspired art, dazzling guests with a phantasmagoria of colours, shapes, and designs.
But the experience does not end there. Each dish is uniquely designed to evoke the Futurist ideal: splashed balsamic glaze over angled wafers, stacked celeriac tumbling chaotically over seared tuna, spiralling frutti di mare over a mound of ice cubes. Lacerba is the ultimate way to toast a day spent exploring Futurism and Milan.
Via Orti 4, Milan 20122
02 545 5475
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