Futurism: Avant-garde-Avant-gardes at the Scuderie del Quirinale

In recent years Rome has played host to several exhibitions celebrating what is arguably Italy's most important contribution to twentieth century art – Futurism – most notably with the exhaustive Italian Futurists show in 2001 at the Palazzo delle Espozioni and once again there in last year's The Myth of Speed which saw the Futurist aesthetic as a recurrent theme throughout. I'll admit, therefore, that I felt a little jaded towards Futurism before going to this new exhibition at the Scuderie del Quirinale and wondered whether I'd learn anything new or find anything to surprise me.

As it turns out, Futurism: Avant-garde-Avant-gardes, curated in collaboration with the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Tate Modern in London and organised to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the publication of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto in 1909, does, in fact, offer something which has so far been lacking in Italy – for the first time the Italian Futurist movement is shown in a wider European context. Whilst the exhibition as a whole is rather scholastic in its approach, this presentation of Futurism alongside Cubism and other avant-garde movements of the early 1900s such as Russian Cubo-Futurism, English Vorticism, French Orphism and even American Synchromism, reaffirms the important position of the Italian movement whilst properly situating it alongside parallel creative forces.

There are several major works on loan from New York's Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) such as Umberto Boccioni's The Laugh and his three States of Mind paintings - The Farewells, Those Who Go and Those Who Stay - as well as Carlo CarrĂ 's large canvas The Funeral of the Anarchist Galli, which all make the show well worth a visit. I was personally delighted to find Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 also on display and even more thrilled by the section on Russian Futurism! I've always loved the Natalia Goncharova painting The Cyclist, ever since I read Camilla Gray's The Russian Experiment in Art, 1863-1922 as a student, so I was really pleased to see it here in Rome alongside a couple of wonderful works by Kazimir Malevich - Portrait Of The Artist Ivan Kliun and The Aviator.

Futurismo. Avanguardia-Avanguardie at the Scuderie del Quirinale is curated by Didier Ottinger and continues until 24 May 2009.