The national movement called Avant grade, the advance guard is a movement that is based on experimental, radical or unorthodox theories and ideas within the movements that occurred in 20th-century architecture. It changes and pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable and not in the cultural realm. In the world of architecture, the Avant Grade was a host of many other movements from the beginning from the 20th century; Movements such as De Stijl / Neo-Plasticism and futurism both have social political and cultural influences which shaped them differently as a movement.
The movement de Stijl /Neo-plasticism occurred around 1917, the same year where Theo van Doesburg published a journal called ‘De Stijl’ giving an insight into the movement, and ended during 1931. De Stijl was originated in the Netherlands and was officially established in the early 20th century; the name de Stijl is a Dutch word for ‘the style’ when translated in English, and the movement was found by Theo van Doesburg and a group of artist and architects all helped to make the movement a success. At an earlier year, 1909 till 1920, the movement futurism began. A movement that too had coverage during the same year 1909 when Filippo Tommaso Marinetti published ‘Futurist Manifesto’ which transformed Italian culture. Similar to de Stijl/Neo plasticism, futurism centred its work in one area, Milan, however, due to its quick growth the movement spread to Turin and Naples, and over upcoming years to Marinetti.
De Stijl employed unique uneven structures, geometrical lines and primary colours, the movements original enthusiasts had strong beliefs that they were able to abstract beyond the limits of what was traditional cultural arts at that time. De Stijl artists turned their ideas and time not only to the fine art style but also to other unconventional art forms including industrial design, typography, even literature and music. Noticeably De Stijl inspiration within the realm of architecture, helped give them a status of international style during 1920-30s creating the “De Stijl culture”. participates of the movement had the idea of never framing their painting as their work was part of the world and should be only seen like this; this was different from the movements before e.g. cubism as framing the artist’s work was the final touch to a painting. Furthermore, the movement took traditionally seen medias, creating architecture and furniture, and combined them with their paintings. A prime example of this was Gerrit Rietveld’s Red Blue Chair, a chair that combined painting with furniture making the chair an iconic symbol to the movement. However, the chair was originally not designed according to De Stijl’s principles, the first model was made out of unstained beech wood and remained unpainted until the early 1920s, Bart van der Leck suggested its current colour scheme to Rietveld. The shift from a plain chair to something that’s iconic suggests the movements shaped the artist themselves when experiencing the art culture as a whole; ‘when I sit, I do not want to sit like my seat-flesh likes but, rather like my seat-mind would if he was siting, weave the chair for himself’ a hidden piece of literature found in every chair that has been a product of mass production, implies that the movement was all about the mind and the will to move society forward. Similar the Italian futurism movement developed a type of style in which was different from the years before the emergence of this movements, the members worked in a wide range of medias and style inspired by post-impressionism. An artist that standout was Severini had interests in divisions- the idea of breaking down of light and colour into stippled dots and stripes, and breaking the picture plane into little bits to achieve an ambiguous sense of depth. However, the futurists were indebted to western philosophy and repurposed ideas from important people; an example is that their work constantly challenges the conflict, resolution and synthesis an idea that was G. W. F. Hegel’s dialectic method, in the meantime many philosophers such as Plato, argued that two-dimensional shapes are important, and therefore it’s an essential aspect of reality. This gives the movement a foundation to create painting and structures form 2D shapes and create something that symbolizes the movements culture. An example of 2D shapes forming a foundation was the ‘Architectural Form of Future Ideal Landscape 1921’ by Enrico Prampolini, a painting that plays with colours and shapes to create an ideal landscape. The landscape was made into reality when Enrico Prampolini, made ‘The Futurist Pavilion’, in Turin (1928) which made it a highlight of Prampolini’s contribution to Futurist architecture culture. Idea of creating a home where no traces of old traditions and art was present.
Throughout the avant-garde movements, the participates had strong ideas that architects are able to change political views; an example of this is futurisms strong support of war, ‘we want to glorify war, the only cure for the world’ mantiie, Original manifesto, this was because they saw post-war events as an opportunity to shape the world how they want. A blank canvas was what the futurist saw, destroyed environments, home and areas was an excuse for the futurists to intervene. However, the members, who supported the war, were a capitalist of the war, they were either killed or traumatized by what it caused. A painting called ‘Armoured Train’ Gino Severini, 1915 the ‘Armoured Train’ in Action foreshadows a fundamental principle of Severini’s idea of the war the Idea of brain to gun to bullet and the smoke creates an explosion of light colours symbolizing the glory of war. Another painting depicting the movements freedom to have political say is the painting called ‘The Rvolt’ by Luigi Russolo 1911, the painting depicts architectural elements and a group of people almost crushing the city/town below. the grave symbolism is shown through the colours luigi uses fiery colours like red yellow and orange symbolizes the power the movement has and the colour can imply blood of war victims, furthermore the architecture in the background coloured blue show the old culture from passed movements being over thrown by the futurist new world manifesto, which suggests the amount of control they have. Over all the movements enthusiasm for modernity and the machine ultimately led them to celebrate the arrival of the First World War. Near to the end the group created almost propaganda type paintings which placed then under the movement called Fascism, many members in fact embrace the movement after the destruction of futurism. Making Futurism the only twentieth century avant-garde to have embraced far right politics. In 1918, when war ended the futurists underwent an intense period of political engagement which created the political party and forming an alliance with Benito Mussolini alongside his Fascist movement. The futurists aim was make Italy great again. This this strive for a country that was no longer in “servitude to its past” where the only religion was the “religion of tomorrow”. The futurism manifesto promised revolutionary nationalism. On the other hand, the movement De Stijl wasn’t politically involved then futurism. However, from the beginning, the movement de stijl prodamations emphasized the coming of a new world which leaves amateurism in the past and replaced by spiritualized , mechanized abstraction which is why their art work is based horizontal and vertical lines had inner meaning that the new world that comes after war will have no curves, in which mankind would live happily and peacefully together. This was their way of interfering the politics at that time to create a utopia with philosophical approach to aesthetics. However, during 1914-18 Holland had the benefit of peace which allowed them to gradual maturation of pre-war ideas such as was scarcely possible elsewhere in Europe. They political desire was to create harmony and balance which was expressed by the artists which they reflected their abhorrence of the mayhem and conflict that was raging around them.
De stijl took response to the emergence of the horrors of ww2 and they aimed to remake society after the war. They had aims to transform the world. the movements aesthetic as they were socially aspirated. They did this by removing the individualism of the artist with precision and universal harmonies, as they were laying the groundwork for their future utopia. An example of the de stijl road to their utopia was the Schröder House 1924 by Gerrit Rietveld, for his client Mrs.Truus Schröder-Schräder and her three children, which was a complete image of the de Stijl aesthetic. The house was open without walls, this was an example of a veritable manifesto for how an independent modern woman should live her life. The home featured typical primary colours and common de stijl themes found in paintings which emphasizes its architectural elements. The interior of the Schröder House continues the de stijl theme within its walls. Which creates an unconventional looking home, which stands out from typical homes, and a building to inspire people. De stigl made it a reform society, that promotes living in a spiritual liberation to mechanization which creates a sense of spiritual and social redemption. “I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true,” the artist stated in a letter to painter, critic and teacher HP Bremmer in 1914.Per contra, futurism debated that social life should be made in their image as it’s not about what the individual needs but it was what the society needed at the time therefore creating a new way of life, the modern life. Their aims were to “demolish museums, libraries, fight morality, feminism” and break tradition. In addition to this the futurist had very strong ideas about technology. ‘a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire is more beautiful than the victory of Samothrace’ which was a Greek statue that was in lobe in Paris a place that promotes academic and classicisms which was what the futurists disliked. They strived to create a city that was imagined to be as complex as a machine, where the notion of a person wasn’t scaled in, they wanted a futurist city that embraced the Metropolitan traffic and where cities where built up into the skies with different ground level accompanying them for they wanted a city that was as agile, mobile and dynamic in every detail. An example of an un-built project was ‘La Città Nuova, 1914’by AntonioSant’Elia an idea that Antonio was most famous about he designed almost machine-like massive structures, skyscrapers that were with the cloud which were a host of suspended walkways and highway overpasses. Designed between 1912 and 1914, it was intended to be the architectural remedy to their manifesto. A reminder that in the early 20th century, machines advancing and humans needed a way to live in a world full of industrial production which were made in an accelerating pace.