New Life for Depero Futurista, The Bolted Book

Fortunato Depero's Bolted Book: Depero Futurista (Dinamo-Azari, Milan, Italy, 1927), artist's book bound with bolts, 32 x 24.2 cm. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE Rome. Photo by Jason Burch.
Fortunato Depero’s Bolted Book: Depero Futurista (Dinamo-Azari, Milan, Italy, 1927), artist’s book bound with bolts, 32 x 24.2 cm.
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE Rome. Photo by Jason Burch.

The Center for Italian Modern Art is excited to launch its fourth season, devoted to Giorgio de Chirico and Giulio Paolini, opening Friday October 14th. Our new Fall Fellows—Maria Bremer, a PhD candidate from the Frei Universitaet in Berlin, and Giovanni Casini, a PhD candidate from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, England—have arrived and settled in.

In the meantime, we are working on a special project to bring new life to the 1927 book, Depero Futurista, a landmark of graphic design and avant-garde bookmaking, created by the Italian Futurist Fortunato Depero (1892-1960).

View of Depero Futurista at the Center for Italian Modern Art, 2014. Photo by Walter Smalling Jr.
View of Depero Futurista at the Center for Italian Modern Art, 2014. Photo by Walter Smalling Jr.

When CIMA’s inaugural exhibition on Fortunato Depero opened to the public in February 2014, we devoted one room to Depero Futurista, showcasing each page. The book is known familiarly as The Bolted Book, because of its unique binding: two industrial aluminum bolts. Depero Futurista celebrates its 90th birthday next year, but this book remains remarkably fresh, modern, and relevant today. Filled with typographic experimentation, it also serves as a portfolio showcase of Depero’s career and includes his exhortation to fellow artists to embrace self-promotion and the modern art of advertising.

CIMA is pleased to be partnering with Designers & Books and the Mart, Museum of modern and contemporary art of Trento and Rovereto, Italy (which houses Depero’s archives), to bring this book and Depero’s life and work to a wider audience. We have prepared a new website, www.boltedbook.com, to showcase this extraordinary book, with all 240 pages featured in detail, and a special section devoted to annotating some of the features of the pages and translating various passages, as well as providing background information about Depero’s work.

Page from Depero Futurista (Dinamo-Azari, Milan, Italy, 1927). © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE Rome.
Page from Depero Futurista (Dinamo-Azari, Milan, Italy, 1927). © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE Rome.

This new Depero Futurista will be published with the help of a Kickstarter campaign that will go live on Tuesday, October 18. This new facsimile edition, which will faithfully mimic the variety of different papers used in the original, will be the first time that an exact copy of the book has ever been issued. It will be accompanied by a reader’s guide, which will feature essays by leading scholars, unpublished materials from the Depero archive at The Mart museum in Italy, and select translations of some pages from the book.

Page from Depero Futurista (Dinamo-Azari, Milan, Italy, 1927). © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE Rome.
Page from Depero Futurista (Dinamo-Azari, Milan, Italy, 1927). © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE Rome.

Join us on November 3 for a chance to see an original copy of this stunning and rare book. CIMA is hosting a free public program exploring the history of Depero Futurista, featuring CIMA 2013-14 Fellow Raffaele Bedarida and CIMA Founder-President Laura Mattioli, whose father Gianni Mattioli was one of Depero’s principal patrons and a crucial aide in the creation and distribution of the original book.

To learn more about the book, watch Raffaele Bedarida discuss The Bolted Book:

Depero Futurista – 1927 (The “Bolted” Book) from Center for Italian Modern Art on Vimeo.