Fortunato Depero Collection

1912-1944

On his arrival in Rome in 1913, the painter Fortunato Depero (Trento, 1982 – Rovereto, 1960) met Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Giacomo Balla and immediately became an active member of the Futurist movement. Together with Balla, in 1915 he published the manifesto Riconstruzione futurista dell’universo, a book which set out to blur the borders between art and everyday life by transferring the Futurist aesthetic canons to all walks of life, from the kitchen to the theater. Shortly afterwards, Sergei Diaghilev commissioned Depero to create scenery for one of his productions and the artist entered his period of set and costume design, establishing a relationship with the theater which would last the rest of his life. In 1919 he founded "Casa d'Arte Futurista" (House of Futurist Art) in Rovereto, where he designed furniture, objects, graphic work, posters and even fabrics, often together with his wife. He spent long periods in Paris throughout the 1920s, and during the 1930s lived in New York, but in both stages continued to work as a graphic designer. Following the Second World War his involvement in Futurism was severely criticized, but this did not prevent him from continuing to paint up until the day he died.

The Fortunato Depero collection in the Lafuente Archive is marked by his work in the field of publishing, as it includes all the books published by Depero throughout his life. Among these is the famous Depero Futurista (1927), converted into a bibliographic landmark by completely subverting the traditional principles of typographic composition and the conventional format of the book. The set also comprises several posters, such as those produced to advertise Campari Bitter, as well as some of the covers he designed for magazines and a small yet interesting repertoire of handwritten postcards, letters and annotations.