We are delighted to be hosting this exhibition of aeropainting - a long-standing
ambition of ours ever since the works of Tullio Crali, Gerardo Dottori and
Benedetta Marinetti drew such attention and admiration during the gallery's
first loan exhibition, Balla and Futurist Italy, back in 1998.
It is a source of particular pride for the Estorick Collection to be once
more contributing to the destruction of the myth that Futurism died during the
First World War along with Umberto Boccioni, arguably the movement's most
important artist. Futurism in fact continued to thrive in Italy throughout the
1920s and 1930s, deepening its exploration of the ways in which technology
enriched and expanded the human experience - a line of research of which
aeropainting represented one of the most complete expressions. The aeroplane had
long been a source of interest for the Futurists: it was in fact a flight "two
hundred metres above the mighty chimney pots of Milan" that Inspired F.T.
Marinetti's poetic revolution of "words-in-liberty" as early as 1912. However,
the 1930s saw a more consistent engagement with the subject of flight in
response to the development of Italy's aeronautics industry and the great
achievements of its aviators - Italo Balbo's transatlantic formation flights
being the most significant. At the beginning of the twenty-first century it is
perhaps all too easy to forget how incredible it must have been to see the world
from previously unknown and impossible perspectives, and the images in this
exhibition capture the excitement of what Marinetti called "the immense visual
and sensory drama of flight", perhaps inspiring in ourselves a similar, renewed
sense of wonder.
This exhibition would nor have happened without the commitment of the
Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs which I would like to thank once again for
its support and in particular the Hon. Mario Baccini; the Italian Ambassador,
H.E. Giancarlo Aragona; Minister Anna BIefari-Melazzi, Director General,
Cultural Promotion and Cooperation Department; Minister Lucio Alberto Savoia,
Vice Director General; Con. Mauro Marsili, Head of OfficeII (Cultural
Events). Our thanks also go to the Italian Cultural Institute in London and to
Fondazione Foedus in Rome. I am deeply grateful to Renato Miracco, curator of
the exhibition, who has been fundamental in getting the exhibition to London.
As always, the Estorick Collection is indebted to all lenders both private and
public, without which the exhibition would not come alive. My thanks go once
more to all the staff of the Estorick Collection and to Ken Syme whose help and
encouragement is always appreciated.
Director, Estorick Collection
Catalogo disponibile presso la mostra.