Marinetti, I know, but who's Mussolini?

Jonathan Jones gives a brilliantly outraged review of a show of 'Italian Aeropaintings,' a Futurist subgenre which flourished in the 1930's. The curators at the Estorick Collection say this work demonstrates "a passion for the new perspectives and vertiginous excitements of aviation - an innocent wonder we have lost in our age of routine civilian flight."

What they don't say, and what gets Jones so rightly worked up: '30s Italy was ruled by fascists; the planes in the paintings are bombers; the Futurists--especially Marinetti--were friendly suck-up loyalists to Il Duce--who loved to fly and was photographed in his flight suit climbing out of a biplane. One 1937 painting, Aerial Mission, Jones deduces, may even refer to the bomber's-eye view of the Luftwaffe's Guernica carpetbombing experiment itself.

Yeah, funny how they forgot to mention all that. The Italian government is thanked for its deep and stalwart support of the show.

Birds of Prey [Guardian]
Fascism? What Fascism? [Estorick Collection]

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: January 8, 2005.

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