The Poster Journal

Nizzoli and The Futurists

The Poster Museum recommends  Italian Futurism 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe on now until September 1st at The Guggenheim, NYC. 

Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in the early 20th Century. The artworks created under Futurism predominately portray the symbols of modernity - speed, bustling big cities and the acceleration of industry - it was a movement committed to the possibility of the future.  To be a Futurist meant to subscribe to a philosophy that drew on stereotypically masculine traits, such as stoicism, strength and assertion. Although the movement was criticized for being misogynous and  anti-women, it was not quite that at all as there happened to be many female Futurists. Rather, Futurism was against qualities attributed to the idea of femininity, as in nature and harmony. It also rebelled against good-taste and was fundamentally anti-nostalgia. The goal of Futurism was not to draw on aspects of history but to reconstruct a brand new world and therefore a brand new art form that put at its centre the project of war and speed. 

The creator of this poster, Marcello Nizzoli (1887 - 1969) was devoted to the goals and philosophies of Futurism. It is one of my favorite posters in the collection at The Poster Museum precisely for the part it plays in the history of Italian Futurism. Nizolli was an artist as well as an industrial and graphic designer who was particularly influenced by the Italian Futurist, Fortunato Depero, who designed the 1932 Campari Soda bottle and created covers for magazines such as Vogue and The New Yorker. This poster, made by Nizolli, forCampari cordial is a wonderful example of Italian still-life painting in art deco style. Each element is perfectly composed, the Campari bottle appearing larger than life in relation to the surrounding objects.