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International Yearbook of Futurism Studies

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Rafael Barradas, Catalan Futurism and Marinetti’s Visit to Barcelona (1928)

Renée M. Silverman
Published Online: 2013-05-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/futur.2013.3.1.211


Between 1904 and 1929, Catalan Futurism blended autochthonous and Italian currents, drawing inspiration from poet F. T. Marinetti and visual artists such as Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini. At the apex of the Catalan Futurist moment, in 1917, the Uruguayan painter Rafael Barradas introduced his Vibracionismo to the Barcelona avant-garde. In a way similar to Italian Futurism, Vibrationism’s spatio-temporal simultaneity and representation of motion overturned conventional representational language, breaking with the past and enshrining urban modernity. Yet, by 1922, Barradas’s scepticism of the avant-garde and renewed interest in the quintessence of human existence led him to return to figurative art; in late 1925, he moved to Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona) in order to concentrate on these new artistic directions. At the same time, however, Barradas continued to involve himself in Barcelona’s eclectic avant-garde and founded the Ateneillo de Hospitalet, an artistic and literary group whose members ranged from the cream of the Catalan vanguard to Federico Garcia Lorca. In light of the waning interest in Italian-style Futurism and questioning of the meaning of ‘avant-garde’ in Catalonia - of which Barradas is emblematic - the failure of Marinetti’s 1928 visit to Spain remains unsurprising. But even though Marinetti’s belated bid to renew Futurism’s influence proved unsuccessful, particularly in Barcelona, where intellectual circles largely rejected the Italian’s Fascist leanings, the apolitical Barradas and Ateneillo received him enthusiastically. The open attitude of the Ateneillo, whose collaborative spirit typified the Barcelona avant-garde in the late 1920s, would be exchanged, in the years leading up to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), for the socio-political polarization which Marinetti’s visit put into relief.

Keywords: : Vibracionismo; Ateneillo de Hospitalet; Catalan Futurist movement: first and second wave; Marinetti’s visit to Spain (1928); Marinetti lectures in Barcelona and Madrid (1928); Dalmau Gallery; Joaquin Torres-Garcia; Gabriel Alomar; grupo antiartístico; Salvador Dali; Sebastia Gasch; Lluis Montanya; Ernesto Gimenez Caballero

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Published Online: 2013-05-22

Published in Print: 2013-05-01

Citation Information: International Yearbook of Futurism Studies, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 211–247, ISSN (Online) 2192-029X, ISSN (Print) 2192-0281, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/futur.2013.3.1.211.

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