By Adriana Baranello

Futurist painter Tullio Crali was born in Igalo, Montenegro, on 6 January 1910 (d. Milan 5 August 2000). He lived in Zara, Croatia, until 1922, when he and his family moved to Gorizia. It was there, at age fifteen, that he discovered Futurism. An autodidact, Crali became interested in Futurism following his first experience with plane flight in 1928. 

He met Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in 1929, and allied himself with the movement officially. His work was influenced significantly by Giacomo Balla and Enrico Prampolini. Crali’s works, like much of late Futurism combine the exhilaration of flight with some elements of early Futurist technique (the interest in motion, the change in perspective from the viewer to the painter and painted subject) with the resurgence of realism in Italian painting that occurred after World War I. Crali was a co-signatory of the 1929 “Manifesto of Aeropainting,” which laid down the principles of the new style.

As testament to how profoundly important Crali’s aesthetic was to late Futurism and to the centrality of flight, the top image Before the Parachute Opens was chosen as the cover for the exhibition catalogue that accompanied the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s groundbreaking 2014 survey Italian Futurism 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe.

Before the Parachute Opens (Prima che si apra il paracadute) 1939, Oil on panel, Casa Cavazzini, Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Udine, Italy.

Incuneandosi nell’abitato, oil on panel, Museo d’arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto.

Upside Down Loop (Death Loop) (Granvolta rovesciata [Giro della morte]), 1938, oil on panel, Collection of Luce Marinetti, Rome.

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