Luigi Russolo

Solidity of Fog



Luigi Russolo was born in Portogruaro (Veneto) in 1885. After joining his family in Milan in 1901, he chose to pursue painting. In 1909 he showed a group of etchings at the Famiglia Artistica in Milan, where he met Umberto Boccioni and Carlo Carrà. His Divisionist period works were influenced by Previati and particularly by Boccioni. The following year, after his encounter with Marinetti, Russolo signed both the Manifesto of Futurist Painters and the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting. Afterwards, he participated in all Futurist soirées and exhibitions. His mature Futurist canvases, while open to Cubist influence, drew primarily on the examples of Anton Giulio Bragaglia's photo-dynamism and Etienne-Jules Marey's chrono-photography.

Russolo issued his manifesto L'arte dei rumori (The Art of Noises) in 1913, that expanded into book form in 1916, theorized the inclusion of incidental noise into musical composition. With Ugo Piatti, he later invented the intonarumori, noise-emitting machines, and in 1913-14, Russolo conducted his first Futurist concerts with numerous intonarumori. Audiences reacted with enthusiasm or open hostility. Russolo started to contribute to the magazine Lacerba, where in 1914 he published an essay, which introduced a new form of musical notation. With the outbreak of the war, Russolo volunteered, and after being seriously wounded in December 1917, he spent eighteen months in various hospitals. In 1921 Russolo held three futurist concerts in Paris that were greatly acclaimed by Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Diaghilev, Ravel and Mondrian, who devoted a long article to the intonarumori in De Stijl.

During the twenties, he invented a series of music instruments named “rumorarmoni”, "enharmonic bow," "enharmonic piano" and appeared in three short Futurist films (now lost), for which he also composed the music. He held his last concert in 1929 at the opening of a Futurist show in Paris at the Galerie 23. After a period in Spain, where he studied occult philosophy, he returned to Italy in 1933, settling in Cerro di Lavenio on Lake Maggiore. In 1941–42, he took up painting again in a realist style that he called "classic-modern". Russolo died at Cerro di Lavenio in 1947.

credits: Hangar Design Group