A new facsimile edition of Fortunato Depero’s 1927 masterpiece Depero Futurista—aka the ‘Bolted Book’—is poised to launch on Kickstarter this fall. The book is renowned in art and design circles as the first modern artist’s book and paved the way for many innovative art and design trends common today.
Depero’s fantastic design and typography were bound by two industrial aluminum bolts, allowing the book to be disassembled and its pages pinned to the wall as a "portable museum." When it was published, Futurism founder F. T. Marinetti called the book "a typographical racing car."
Futurism was a modernist art and design movement that rejected the conventions and traditions of the past in favor of new "dynamic" creations inspired by mechanized technology. Depero’s book is one of the movement’s most influential works, presaging the zine movement and today’s intermingling of art, design, and pop culture.
"In a way that seems perfectly in tune with global trends today, he embraced the cult of modernity and technology, seeing cities and advertising as high art forms in and of themselves," said Heather Ewing, Executive Director of the Center for Italian Modern Art. "He developed a unique voice that married the mechanical with the fantastical. His work – and way of working – are as relevant today as they were innovative a century ago."
When Depero moved to New York City in 1928, he used the book as a kind of portfolio, showing it around to publications and clients including Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker. The book’s notoriety and influence only grew over the decades.
The new edition, produced by the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto with the Center for Italian Modern Art, will be 240 pages printed on a range of paper colors and weights reproducing Depero’s original work.
Mark your calendars: the Kickstarter campaign is set to launch on October 18.