What comes up to your mind when you hear theword Avant-Garde? Avant-garde is basically a French term, meaning in Englishmodern art which started in the beginning of 1850s. In the beginning of thenineteenth century, it seemed with reference to art in France and wasattributed to the significant theorist Henri de Saint-Simon, one of thefounders of socialism. At the very end of the modern period, several types ofAvant-garde art appeared such as contemporary art movements. In another way,being avant-garde needs to explore new artistic methods, or try-out newapproaches to have the ability to produce better art. In addition, Avant-gardehas a lot of other movements such as cubism, futurism, Neo-Plasticism orsurrealism which have had strong programs, but will further be described indetail about the differences and similarities of Neo-Plasticism and Futurism.Even though both movements came in the same century; however, Futurism camebefore Neo-Plasticism and was not founded from the same origin.
Futurismand Neo-Plasticism period have been selected to exhibit how two art movementscan have comparisons yet still hold true to their own values, thoughts, andprinciples to produce a decisive style. Even though they are both Avant-Gardemovements, they have more differences than the similarities, starting with thedefinition of each movement first. Which artist limits their selves by two orthree colours? Yes, Neoplasticism is a term approved by the Dutch inventor ofabstract art developed by Piet Mondrian. In addition to the art movement Futurismwhich was one of the avant-garde movements founded in Milan in 1909 by the poetFilippo Tommaso Marinetti as also it was an artistic and social movement thathighlighted speed, technology, youth and violence, and objects such as cars,airplane, and the industrial city. World War 1 had been dominant of both Futurisms’imaginary since Marinetti had launched the movement at that time andNeoplasticism emerged largely in response to the fears of it, but more onFuturism from the time when it appeared on the first page of Le Figaro inParis. Both art movements had been influenced by other movements such as PopArt, Cubism and Art Deco.
Not only Boccioni’s encounter with Cubist paintinghad an important influence, but also Neo-Plasticism was one of the related artmovements to cubism as they came after each other. Alessandro Bruschetti was anItalian Futurist artist who was inspired by the World War and is shown in hisartwork. It is obvious how Alessandro used portraits of solders and airplaneswith other machinery equipment to send a message that the World War had a bigimpact on many artists throughout the years and this period of time. Why did Ichoose this artwork specifically? Fascist Synthesis stands out for the perfectmeaning of the art movement Futurism and it describes how Cubism had influencedit. Furthermore,Futurism has some matches relating toNeo-Plasticism such as similar colours, the inspiration of Cubism and the WorldWar 1 as long as it was in the same century. Cubism had a huge influence onboth movements and it is shown in architecture, artwork, product and interiors.
Oppositely, thereare a lot of differences between both movements when it comes to the material,style, texture, and the time each one was ended in. Architect AntonioSant’Elia became one the futurist architect by making drawings of moderncities and futuristic buildings. Materials which are used in architecture areglass, cardboard, reinforced concrete, as well as, wood, brick, and stonesubstitutes, different lightness and flexibility. Moving to the mainpainters of Neoplasticism are Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian which appliedtheir style to a host of media in the fine and applied arts and beyond for theirown type of abstract painting which used geometric forms in black, white, grey,and primary colours. There are four main elements in Neoplasticism architecturewhich are white elements to shape the house and its structure, grey elements toshow the hidden and exposed areas, linear elements and functional elements. It is obvious how it was against thedecorative excesses of Art Deco.
Futurism’s main subject is modern urban sceneswhich express energy, so it was something at that time. Later on, The Futuristsdiscovered every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, poetry, theatre,music, architecture and even gastronomy. “We Futurists are trying withthe power of intuition, to place ourselves at the very centre of things, insuch a way that our ego forms with their own uniqueness a single complex. Wegive plastic planes a plastic expansion in space, obtaining this feeling ofsomething in perpetual motion which is peculiar to everything living”-( Carlo Carra).
“What do I want to express with my work? Nothingelse than that every artist seeks: to achieve harmony through the balance ofthe relationship between lines, colours and planes. But only inclearest and strongest way”- (Piet Mondrian). Thedifference between the two quotes explains the way of thinking and how thefinal work is planned to be. The work of Futurism expresses more things and ismore complicated compared to how simple Neoplasticism is which has one goal, tomake art simple and basic as possible and that was the only reason. Simplification was needed in the art world to bereturned, and especially after cynicism of the Dada, the damage and confusionof World War 1.
It is said that Futurism ended in 1915-16 butstill, artists nowadays get influenced by how art, violence, and machines areconnected together to form an artwork because they represented thetechnological triumph of man over nature. However,Futurists made artwork which was inspiring until Marinetti’s death in 1944,later art movements such as Art Deco, Vorticism, Constructivism, Surrealism,Dadaism and much later Neo-Futurism were severely influenced by the work of theFuturists. Are Marinetti’s thoughts still existent? Yes in the Japanese cultureand their mangas and anime, but with new development such as speed was chosenin order to create new forms of theatre in 1988 and after that Futurism startedto be destroyed ever since the death of its leader Marinetti. Futurismdid not directly recognize its unique style and worked in borrowingelements from various technical characteristics of Post-Impressionism,which include Symbolism and Divisionismand more into Divisionism. It was complicated as it divided light and coloursinto painted dots and stripes, and cracking the canvas plane into sections, atthe beginning was taken as an example from Severini and other artists. Artists wanted to filter art to be almostscientific precision and perfection in the period of Neoplasticism. Inaddition, arrangement and balance made a great partof artist’s artwork, and this leads to more dominant in the next few decades ofmodern design and modern architecture.
It was different from one artist to theother for example Theo van Doesburg used in his work diagonals and thecolour green which was not common with Piet Mondrian as he was the leadingpainter of the group; nevertheless: other artists in the group used acombination between Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian’s work. This artmovement, in the beginning, was named as DeStijl and then Piet realized that it makes more sense as Neo comes from New andPlasticism refers to form making the word Neo-Plasticism. Despite the fact thatPiet Mondrian was a fan of Kandinsky’s writing, he disagreed about the varietyof elements an abstract painter should use. Neoplasticism had influenced theBauhaus artists and other later art movements such as Constructivism andartists who were associated with Minimalism. One of Theo van Doesburg workwhich was different from Piet Mondrian’s work as he uses different geometricshapes and as said before developing the work and using different colours suchas green.
Each artist must have their own special artwork, but if they are boththe leaders of that movement they cannot disagree on one of the ideas. Rectangular and colour blocks areapplied in the design of the Schröder House in 1924 and it was described as anicon building of the Neoplasticism architecture in which Rietveld achievesthe perfect combination of the movement concepts and considers theinterior elements and the architectural design proving the principles. Therewas a lot of disagreement about the diagonals Van Doesburg created, so he and Mondriansplit and everyone moved to deferent places. One the Futuristic building made by Antoni Gaudi that describes Barcelona and Spain, andperfectly explains the movement Futurism since it looks like a spaceship andshows how architects turned it into Modern architecture. Can you recognise in which art movement this building gotinfluenced? This architecture building looks modern and is actually afuturistic and identifies exactly the term futurism.
By using pencil to drawthe outline and then shading with black fine line made it more visible andsimilar to the original picture. It is complicated and not easy to tell whereexactly its entrance is and whether it’s a real spaceship or a normal building.It shows that many futurists got inspired by the World War and it had bigeffect on architects, as most of the buildings nowadays are modern andfuturistic such as, the bullring, the tall buildings in New York and otherbuildings. On the other hand, Neoplasticism is simple and most of the buildingsare not tall ones and just two or three floors or else it will just be a blockof buildings with some primary colours. Showing the difference between Neoplasticism artwork andarchitecture how it is made.
In both drawings primary colours are used, and therectangular shape of Piet Mondrian. One of Zaha Hadid designs which is a modern design andinfluenced by futuristic buildings which impresses many people. In a nutshell, some people do not seeNeoplasticism as a real art as Futurism as I have always been inspired byFuturistic architecture, interiors and artworks. It express a big message tothe world how World War 1 made a big influence on many architects such as thefamous architect Zaha Hadid and other famous architects and artists.
Definitelyboth artists compared to architectural way of making it, they are no way to becompared even though they have things in common like different art movements,same century, some of the colours in artworks and being an Avant-Garde. It issaid that Futurism had been extinct since Marinetti’s death, but it shows thatfuturistic buildings is being developed into Modern Art; however: it is notbuilt as cars, airplanes or other mechanical machines. In Neoplasticism, decoration in interiors,exteriors or even artwork was not something in the option of architects andartists’ option. Both art movements was not originated from the same place, haddifferent years when they got known.