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Depero Futurista

Item date(s): 1927

Fortunato Depero
Fedele Azari

Pages: unpaged
Size: 243mm
Edition: #341/1000

Place publication: Paris, New-York, Milano, Berlin
Publisher: Edizione Italiana Dinamo Azari
Cat. 034 - MM2
Exhibition 2017

Additional notes:
The famous "Bolted Book". See item 2843 in this collection.

Housed in a green drop-back box: 265 x 342 x 58mm with the title on the spine. The box provides an indentation to house the bolts.

Rilegature Dinamo. Binding Dinamo.

Creazione Azari. Creation Azari.

From the bookseller's description:

118ff., printed on various paper stocks, of which some are coloured; most versos blank. Illustrated with 28 halftone plates in text, 2 in colour. Line-block illustrations and typographic designs throughout, many printed in red and black. Oblong 4to., 320 x 245mm, bound in flexible blue boards, printed in black and white, secured with massive metal bolts, as issued. Preserved in a new custom box.

One of the most striking books to come out of the futurist movement, most of whose publications were pamphlets or broadsides. Depero's famous "Futurist bolted book", from his own design, is an anthology of this theatrical and commercial designs from 1913 to 1927", one of the avant-garde masterpieces in the history of the book-object.

Depero Futurista exemplifies many of the Futurist innovations: witty typographical effects, the use of colored inks and decorated paper and the brilliant idea of dynamo binding, making the book seem like a machine (Jentsch - The Artist and the Book in twentieth Century Italy p. 177)

"[This] book Is Mechanical, bolted like a motor, Dangerous, can constitute a projectile weapon. Unclassifiable, cannot fit into a library with other volumes. And therefore it is in its exterior form Original, Invasive, and Assaulting, like Depero and his art" (from the preface to the work).

Stated limitation of 1000 numbered copies (never completed). A fine copy, with just the slightest bumping to the spince.

Designers & Books have just launched a website devoted to Fortunato Depero's 1927 masterpiece of book-making "Depero Futurista," also known as The Bolted Book: The site features every page spread of the book, including a page-by-page analysis of the content. We invite everyone to stop by and have a look at this fantastic new book arts resource.

See: p174. Type Tells Tales by Steven Heller and Gail Anderson.

Reference note:
As a good publicist, Depero explains that this book has “nothing to do with usual books”: it is an “artistic object, a “typically futuristic work of art” (p. [3]). on an innovative page ("exceptional futuristic typographic presentation", idem), the "dynamo binding" of the publisher Azari, using mechanical elements - two enormous aluminum bolts -, perfectly places the work in the futuristic vision, fascinated by movement and mechanics: it is a “bolted machine edition”. This book, explains the artist, is:

"MECHANICAL bolted like an engine

DANGEROUS it can constitute a projectile weapon

UNCLASSABLE it cannot be stored in a library among other books” (p. [5]).

Fortunato Depero had discovered the Futurists during the Boccioni exhibition in Rome in 1913. Then frequenting the studio of Giacomo Balla, he participated in the Futurist exhibition in Rome in 1914. His manifesto Ricostruzione futurista dell'universo [Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe] is fundamental in the evolution of the movement. From 1916, wounded in the war, he worked on costumes and on the staging of shows, notably producing puppets in 1918 for his "Balli Plastici". The general public still knows his Campari advertisements, several of which are reproduced in Depero Futurista.


G. Lista, The Futurist Book, p. 148.

P. Hulten, Futurism & Futurisms, p. 60.

J. Andel, Avant-Garde Page Design, 1900-1950, p. 112.

Cl. Salaris, History of Futurismo, p. 35-36.

Exhibition notes:
Item 034 - MM2 on Booknesses: Artists' books from the Jack Ginsberg Collection. UJ Art Gallery, University of Johannesburg. 25 March to 5 May 2017

Beyond Words. JGCBA. 20 June - 11 Aug 2023

Ref: GB/14729

© Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Arts (JGCBA). All rights reserved.