Katy Deepwell: new article on Women Artists and Futurism
Prof Katy Deepwell's article 'Narratives of Women Artists in/out of Vorticism' is published in the International Yearbook of Futurism Studies Vol. 5 (2015), Special issue on Women Futurists and Women Artists Influenced by Futurism, edited by Günter Berghaus.
It is the aim of the International Yearbook of Futurism Studies to publish original research on the global ramifications of Futurism, on the intercultural flow of avant-garde ideas across national borders, on artistic movements inspired by Futurism across continents, and on artists operating in the international sphere with close contacts to Marinetti or other Futurists. It is particularly interested in heterodox forms of Futurism and in artists who were only periodically involved with Futurism or were inspired only by certain aspects of the Italian movement. The Yearbook has a truly comparative perspective and facilitates contacts across academia such as literature, fine arts, music, theatre, dance, architecture, decorative arts, graphic design, fashion etc.
When analysing and assessing Futurist 'influences', one needs to consider the manner in which Futurist ideas were conveyed from one culture to another. Many of these routes would sometimes better be called absorption, assimilation, adaptation, osmosis, or similar. There was a fluidity of adaptations and creative modifications, leading to original aesthetics and highly individual, para-Futurist solutions.
In most countries, Futurism was understood rather superficially at the time. Newspapers only offered scattered information about Futurist activities in Italy and abroad. Commentators picked up in a rather random fashion certain elements of Futurism and ignored others, thereby distorting its aesthetic agenda. This new construct can only be called pseudo-Futurism and certainly bore little relation to the original aims and visions of the movement's founder.
Even when an artist or writer of modernist conviction gained access to some original manifestos and developed a certain amount of sympathy towards Marinetti's position, s/he still would have had problems with the group's extravagant and clamorous activities that gave the movement such a bad name in the popular press. But, nonetheless, in a number of cases one can discover that underneath an attitude of rejection or detachment significant aspects of Futurist art filtered through and influenced an artist or writer without him or her ever admitting that they were adopting some of the movement's aesthetic tenets.
The core group includes women actively supporting Futurism (e.g. Růžena Zátková, Edyth von Haynau, Eva Amendola Kühn), others periodically involved with the movement (e.g. Valentine de Saint Point, Aleksandra Ekster, Elena Guro, Olga Rozanova, Tatiana Vechorka, Nina Henke-Meller), others again inspired by certain aspects of the movement (e.g. Alice Bailly, Norah Borges, Mary Szwanzy, Gertrude Stein, Jessie Dismorr and Helen Saunders). Several artists operated only on the margins of a Futurist inspired aesthetics but they felt attracted to Futurism because of its support for women artists or because of its innovatory roles in the social and intellectual spheres.
The artists covered in YB 2015 are far from straightforward cases, but exactly because of this they can offer genuinely new insights into a still largely under-researched domain of twentieth-century art and literature. However, it is important to emphasize that this volume of the Yearbook is not concerned with woman artists in general, or with the role of women in the historical avant-garde. The more general gender issues may crop up in the introductions to an essay, but the main focus is always on Futurism and its role in the life and oeuvre of the artists and writers selected here. Guiding questions for these investigations are: How did these women come into contact with Futurist ideas? Was it first-hand knowledge (poems, paintings, manifestos etc) or second-hand knowledge (usually newspaper reports or personal conversions with artists who had been in contact with Futurism)? How did the women respond to the (positive or negative) reports? How did this show up in their oeuvre? How did it influence their subsequent, often non-Futurist, career?
Table of Contents
Section 1: Women Artists and Futurism
1. Paul-André Jaccard (Institut Suisse pour l'Étude de l'Art, Lausanne): Alice Bailly, Ambassador of Futurism in Switzerland
2. Katy Deepwell (Middlesex University, Department of Fine Art; editor and publisher): Narratives of Women Artists in/out of Vorticism
3. Miranda Hickman (McGill University, Department of English): Beyond the Frame: Reassessing Jessie Dismorr and Helen Saunders
4. Selena Daly (Lecturer in Italian at Manchester Metropolitan University): Mary Swanzy (1882-1978): A Futurist Painter from Ireland
5. Silvia Contarini (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, Department of Italian): Valentine de Saint-Point: A Futurist Woman?
6. Eamon McCarthy (Queen's University Belfast, School of Modern Languages): Flirting with Futurism: Norah Borges and the Avant-Garde
7. Alena Pomajzlová (Masarykova univerzita, Seminář dějin umění): Růžena Zátková: An Un-orthodox Woman Futurist
8. Natalia Budanova (Courtauld Institute, University of London): Penetrating Men's Territory: Russian Avant-garde Women, Futurism and the First World War
9. Christina Lodder (University of Kent, Dept of History and Philosophy of Art): Olga Rozanova: A True Futurist
10. Bela Tsipuria (Faculty of Humanities and Cultural Research, Ilia State University, Tbilisi): Tatiana Vechorka: A Futurist Poetess in Tbilisi, Baku and Moscow
11. Jordan Tobin (Courtauld Institute, University of London): Alexandra Exter 1908-14: Futurist Influences from Russia and the West
12. Isabel Wünsche (Jacobs University Bremen, Dept. of Art and Art History): Elena Guro: On the Crossroads between Symbolism, Organicism and Cubo-Futurism
13. Oleh S. Ilnytzkyj (University of Alberta, Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies): Nina Henke-Meller and Ukrainian Futurism
14. Donatella Di Leo (Università "L'Orientale" di Napoli): Eva Amendola Kühn (Magamal): A Futurist of Lithuanian Extraction
15. Irina Subotic: Magamal in Fiction: A Novel by Mira Otašević
16. Lisa Hanstein (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut): Edyth von Haynau: A Viennese Aristocrat in the Futurist Circles of the 1910s
17. Allison Carey (Marshall University, Huntington/WV, Department of English): "The Pleasure of Being at the Wheel": The Mechanical Aesthetics of Gertrude Stein and F.T. Marinetti
18. Tim Klähn (University of Toronto): Rea Nikonova and the Legacy of Russian Futurism
Section 2: Caricatures and Satires of Futurism in the Contemporary Press
Matteo D'Ambrosio: Matilde Serao's Battle with the Futurists in Naples
Andrei Rossomakhin: The Ego-Kubo-Rayo-Donkey-Tail-Futurists: About a Russian Cartoon of 1913
Rosa Sarabia: Gecé’s Angelic Depiction of Norah Borges
Marta Sironi: Art and Anarchy: Futurists and Suffragettes in London, 1910-1915
Section 3: Reports
Denis Beznosov: The International Academy of Zaum
Barbara Meazzi: Women Futurists in Italy
Section 4: Obituary
Willem Weststeijn: Serge Segay (1947-2014)
Section 4: Reviews
Ekaterina Lazareva: Futurism and War: A Conference in Zagreb (28-29 June 2014)
Günter Berghaus: Futurist Utopias: EAM Conference, Helsinki (29-31 August 2014)
Natalia Budanova and Helen Higgins: The Jack of Diamonds Disputes at the Courtauld Institute, London (24 October and 7 November 2014)
Adriana Baranello: (Re)Constructing the Futurist Universe: Toward a More Careful and Complete Historiography (Italian Futurism, 1909–1944, at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, 21 February - 1 September 2014)
Rosalind McKever: Gerardo Dottori at the Estorick Collection, London (9 July – 7 September 2014)
Irene Chytraeus-Auerbach: The Russian Avant-garde and Its Eastern Roots (L'avanguardia russa, la Siberia e l'Oriente at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, 27 September 2013 – 19 January 2014)
Ulrike Mühlschlegel: Futurism in Latin America: An Exhibition at the Ibero-American Institute in Berlin
Manfred Hinz: A New Analysis of Futurist Manifestos (Benedikt Hjartarson: Visionen des Neuen: Eine diskurshistorische Analyse des frühen avantgardistischen Manifests)
Günter Berghaus: The Dramaturgy of Sound in Futurist Theatre (Mladen Ovadija: Dramaturgy of Sound in the Avant-garde and Postdramatic Theatre)
Toshiharu Omuka: Futurism in the Far East (Elena Iur'evna Turchinskaia: Avangard na Dal'nem Vostok)