Collage inspired by Depero’s “Plastic Ballets”

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With the 8th grade students we studied the topic of Futurism in painting and sculpture and we observed the multifaceted works of Fortunato Depero. This artist dealt with all aspects of the arts and applied arts, creating paintings, sets, advertising posters, tapestries, furniture, clothing, design objects, sculptures, costumes, in his universal vision of Futurism as the fulcrum for transforming the world .

Around 1916, Depero created costumes for theater and futurist ballets, of which we see sketches, a poster, costumes and sets below:

sets and costumes created by Depero

First we built a jointed cardboard mannequin and used it as a template to draw our dancer in fun and original poses (you can purchase the mannequin template HERE)

Around the mannequin we created a background inspired by the “Parole in Libertà” or “Parolibere”, the futurist poems created by the poets of the group such as Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. In these poems the words are not organized into sentences and periods but are broken down to create dynamic images, with different, decomposed characters, with written compositions of noises, onomatopoeias and infinitive verbs.

“Parole in libertà” poesie futuriste

To imitate the Futurist “Parole in libertà” (free words) we used words cut out of newspapers and composed them freely, choosing above all verbs and actions, in the dynamic spirit of the poems which inspired us. In addition to the words cut out and glued around the mannequin, we wrote some words, verbs and onomatopoeias to complete the composition of the background.

Once the background is finished, we begin to “dress” our dancer by creating colorful and imaginative costumes with colored cardboard: we are inspired by the numerous figures created by Depero:

figures, costumes, mannequins, puppets created by Depero

The work was very fun, the students had fun positioning and “dressing” their character, the final effect was very dynamic and lively, in perfect futuristic style!


Butterflies in warm & cool colors

Abstract drawings from microscope


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