The following page by page annotation of The Bolted Book was edited by Russell Fernandez with assistance from Raffaele Bedarida, and relies heavily on original research done by Gianluca Camillini.
P. 1 Title page
PP. 2-3 Depero signature and edition number / Additional frontispiece
PP. 4-5 Presentation page
Written by Depero, this page describes the book and its design. Depero boasts that his “showcase portfolio” is “the most groundbreaking art book of its time.” An edition of “bolted machinery” with an “exceptional typographical Futurist presentation.” Under the headline GLOBAL SUCCESS, Depero declares: “DEPERO FUTURISTA has nothing in common with other books. It is an artistic object in itself, a typically Futurist work of art.”
PP. 6-7 Promotional page for Dinamo-Azari Publishing House and Futurist Art Gallery
PP. 8-9 Announcement of the launch of the Futurist art gallery Dinamo-Azari
Written by publisher Fedele Azari, it describes Depero Futurista as “MECHANICAL: bolted like an engine,” warns it is “DANGEROUS: can be used as a projectile,” and declares it is “UNCLASSIFIABLE: cannot be placed alongside other books in the library.”
PP. 10-11 Dedication to F. T. Marinetti
Depero dedicates his book to Futurism’s founder: “I set off this futurist creation as a sign of celebration for F. T. Marinetti.” The letter W in the center of the composition is an Italian abbreviation of the words “long live” as in “Long live Marinetti.” It appears on numerous pages throughout Depero Futurista.
PP. 12-13 Graphic: Depero Futurista 1913-1927 / Edizione Dinamo-Azari
PP. 14-15 Futurist Movement / List of Futurist artists part 1
The left side of this page spread dedicated to the Futurist movement and its “engine” F.T. Marinetti. Depero makes clever use of Marinetti’s first and last initials, which he has enlarged, rotated, and placed at the center of the composition. The page on the right is the first of two pages listing all known Futurist artists active in 1927, the year Depero Futurista was published. It urges “Futurists from all over the world” to contact the headquarters in Rome in order to be officially affiliated.
PP. 16-17 List of Futurist artists (continued) / “Worldwide Futurism” manifesto
PP. 18-19 Table of illustrations
PP. 20-21 Brief text by by F.T. Marinetti / Mussolini quotation
We must not remain solely contemplative.
We must not simply exploit our cultural heritage.
We must create a new heritage to place alongside that of antiquity.
We must create a new art, an art of our times.
PP. 22-23 Umberto Boccioni quotation
P. 24 Depero autobiography
Appearing on the page that precedes a black-and-white portrait of Depero is a brief autobiographical statement summarizing the major events in the artist’s life as well as his longtime dedication to the Futurist movement.
P.25 Depero portrait
This humorous composition featuring a photo of Depero and his publisher, the painter-aviator Fedele Azari, sitting in the cockpit of a biplane is captioned: “Azari and Depero leave for an artistic discussion at 5,000 meters.”
PP. 28-29 “Depero glorified by Marinetti” (printed upside down and backward)
PP. 30-31 Graphic: Depero Futurista 1913-1927 / Edizione Dinamo-Azari
PP. 32-33 “Depero glorified by Marinetti” gatefold
PP. 34-35 Umberto Boccioni quotation
PP. 36-37 52 Depero exhibitions
PP. 38-39 Umberto Boccioni quotation / Depero's exhibition hall at the 1st International Exposition of Decorative Arts in Monza, 1923
PP. 40-41 Room of Trentino region at the 1st International Exposition of Decorative Arts in Monza, 1923
PP. 42-43 Depero's room at the Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts of Paris, 1925
PP. 44-45 Depero's artwork in the futurist pavilion at the 15th Venice Biennial, 1926
This typographical composition trumpets Depero’s multifaceted talents as a “world renowned” architect, painter, sculptor, and decorator.
PP. 48-49 Wall Manifesto section header
PP. 50-51 “The need for self-advertisement” wall manifesto
The first in a series of typographic compositions Depero refers to as wall manifestos. Enlarged in the center of its arrow shaped graphic are two passionately stated sentences that suggest Depero’s motivation for creating Depero Futurista: “It is time to be done with recognition of the artist after his death or in advanced old age. The artist needs to be recognized, appreciated, and glorified in his lifetime, and to this end is entitled to use all the most effective and unheard-of means for advertising his own genius and his own works.”
PP. 52-53 “Art is creation” wall manifesto
PP. 54-55 “Plastic arts of today” wall manifesto
Designed to be read by rotating the page, this wall manifesto describes the Futurist approach to sculpture and the other plastic arts. Depero also celebrates Futurism as the culmination of the previous two movements, Impressionism and Cubism.
PP. 56-57 “Plastic Arts of Today” wall manifesto part 2
PP. 58-59 “The Immortal Futurism” wall manifesto
PP. 60-61 “Graphical Tale” wall manifesto
This wall manifesto is an open letter to the Italian Minister of Education about the importance of visual literacy and of encouraging children to express themselves visually in all spontaneity and freedom. Exhibitions of this kind of children’s art would benefit the entire society.
PP. 62-63 “Graphical Tale” wall manifesto (continued)
PP. 64-65 “Long live the machine and the steel style” wall manifesto part 1
PP. 66-67 “Long live the machine and the steel style” wall manifesto part 2
PP. 68-69 “Fantastic New” wall manifesto
This dynamic typographic composition celebrates the wonders of Depero’s “complete mechanical and artificial universe.”
PP. 70-71 “Psychological Portrait” wall manifesto
PP. 72-73 Marinetti patriotic storm painting, 1924
PP. 74-75 Psychological portrait of the pilot Azari painting, 1922
PP. 76-77 “Light Architecture” wall manifesto
Focusing on the architectural qualities of light, this wall manifesto ends with an ode to the sun: “The sun gives life. The sun gives color. And now the sun gives art a new architecture.”
PP. 78-79 F.T. Marinetti quotation / Train born out of the sun painting, 1924
PP. 80-81 “Plastic Glories” wall manifesto
PP. 82-83 “Advertising Architecture” wall manifesto
This page opens a ten-page section devoted to Depero’s architectural work. The text that forms the bridge is made bold for emphasis: “It is necessary to glorify genius, creators, inventors, constructors with the materials required to make their miraculous creations, with structures and materials typical of the era in which they lived.” In the final part of this manifesto, Depero introduces the idea of a Futurist Village, a project that he tried (unsuccessfully) to achieve in the outskirts of New York.
PP. 84-85 “Advertising Architecture” wall manifesto part 2 (“Manifesto toward the industrialist”)
This manifesto introduces key concepts that Depero would later develop in the manifesto of Futurist advertisement that he published in 1932. In particular he focuses on new forms of patronage in the era of industry and treats industrialists as the new patrons of the arts.
PP. 86-87 Project for the Tridentine Venice pavilion at the Milan trade fair
PP. 88-89 “Typographical Architecture” wall manifesto
Depero presents his ideas about the fusion of architecture and advertising, including an account of how those ideas were realized in the design and construction of the Book Pavilion (Padiglione del Libro) at the 1927 International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Monza.
The Bestetti, Tumminelli, and Treves book pavilion at the 1927 International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Monza. By designing the pavilion for a publishing house made out of three-dimensional letters, Depero exemplified his idea of “advertising architecture,” which is able to promote its activity through architectural shapes.
PP. 92-93 Tricolor pavilion (green-white-red) and Fascist pavilion
PP. 94-95 Umberto Boccioni quotation
PP. 96-97 Alpine Splendor painting, 1918 and Casa del Mago painting, 1920
PP. 98-99 Horse race among the clouds painting, 1924 and Multiplied cyclist painting, 1922
PP. 100-101 Radio-fire painting, 1922
PP. 102-103 Megaphones of Blasphemies painting, 1922
PP. 104-105 Discussion of the fourth millennium painting, 1926
PP. 106-107 Dedication to F. T. Marinetti
PP. 108-109 Long live Futurism (W il Futurismo)
PP. 110-111 Plastic in Movement section header
PP. 112-113 “Painting in Motion” manifesto by Alexander Archipenko
PP. 114-115 “Motorumorist Plastic Complex 1915-27” text
This page spread is devoted to Depero’s motorumorist plastic complexes (complessi plastici motorumorista). Described as “living artificial beings,” these sculptural objects were made out of metal, glass, cardboard, and other everyday materials to which Depero added a mechanism that created sound and movement. An annotated photo of one of these works appears on the right page of the spread.
PP. 116-117 “Motorumorist Plastic Complex 1915-27” text (continued)
PP. 118-119 “Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe” manifesto
Signed in 1915 by Fortunato Depero and artist Giacomo Balla, this manifesto is considered one of the most important milestones in the formation of the Futurist aesthetic. Balla had signed the founding manifestos of the previous years; the younger Depero became a leading figure in Futurism with this manifesto.
PP. 120-121 “Motorumor-Plastik” article (German language)
PP. 122-123 “Fortunato Depero has fun” article (Spanish language) / “Magic Theater” section header
P. 124 Blank purple page
P. 125 Mechanical character from “Depero's Magic Theater” exhibited at the International Theater Exposition of 1926
PP. 126-127 Magic Theater text by Depero
PP. 128-129 Magic Theater text (continued)
PP. 130-131 Magic Theater text (continued)
PP. 132-133 Magic Theater text (continued) / “The Song of the Nightingale” ballet
In 1916 Depero received a commission for the scenography and costumes for this “mechanical ballet,” which was ultimately canceled and given to Matisse. Depero documents the work here because it was both important in the development of his art and it anticipated ideas of mechanical dancing that became very popular throughout Europe in the 1920s. He also compares this 1924 project to a ballet made in Russia three years later. Here, like in many other parts of the book, Depero presents himself as the anticipator of many trends.
PP. 134- 135 “The Song of the Nightingale” ballet (continued)
PP. 136-137 “Plastic Dances” play
PP. 138-139 “Plastic Theater” text by Gilberto Clavel
PP. 140-141 “Plastic Theater” text (continued) The Machine of the year 3000 (Anihccam del 3000)
This page features a press release for a “mechanical ballet” that featured stage sets and costumes designed by Depero. Anihccam is the Italian word for machine spelled backward.
PP. 142-143 Advertisement for Depero’s Futurist House of Art
PP. 144-145 Typographical composition
PP. 146-147 Typographical composition / Brief biography of the Depero Futurist House of Art
One of the half dozen Case d’arte organized by Futurist artists throughout Italy, Depero’s Futurist House was founded in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I in Rovereto, which had been partly destroyed by the war. Like the Bauhaus (founded in the same year), it was part of the postwar reconstruction ideology, which emphasized the collective and artisanal dimension of artistic production as opposed to the romantic tradition of the artist alone in the studio.
PP- 148-149 Brief biography of the Depero Futurist House of Art (continued) / Photos
The page on the right features a photograph taken at Depero’s Futurist House of Art in Rovereto, Italy. Opened in 1919, it was staffed by a team of female artisans who made a wide variety of craft products, including toys, furniture, textiles, and other decorative objects. The captions read: “Depero’s Futurist Workshop: The precious collaborators” and “The tireless director Rosetta” (Depero’s wife).
Text about the Depero Futurist House of Art by F. T. Marinetti (in French).
PP.152-153 Text about the Depero Futurist House of Art (continued) / Type headline
The text on the page on the right says: “The very original Depero’s pillows and tapestries.” The red text at the bottom page 152 says: “Long live Depero” with Depero’s name spelled backward and positioned upside down.
P. 154 blank blue page
P. 155 Cow in the mountains tapestry (appeared in Italian People's Illustrated Magazine, 1926)
PP. 156-157 white page / green page
PP. 158-159 green page / War-Celebration tapestry, 1925
PP. 160-161 Rhinoceroses and Warriors tapestries, 1923
The first of twelve pages devoted to Depero’s pillow designs. The headlines describe them as “very original” and “very colorful.”
PP. 164-165 Grid of nine pillow designs
PP. 166-167 Three pillow designs
PP. 168-169 Dinamo-Azari typographic logo
PP. 170-171 Two pillow designs
PP. 172-173 Two pillow designs
PP. 174-175 Two pillow designs
PP. 176-177 “Very colorful” patterns for shawls - Paris International Exposition of Modern and Industrial Decorative Arts, 1925
PP. 178-179 Synthetic toys
PP. 180-181 Copper embossed plates and “Hammerers Machine” sculpture
PP. 182-183 Depero’s advertising
Four logos designed to advertise Depero’s Futurist House of Art.
The page on the right opens a section featuring Depero’s advertising for two types of Campari liqueur: the aperitif and the cordial. Under Depero’s name are the words: “synthesis” “symbols” “fantasies” and “splendors.”
P. 188 blank blue page
P. 189 “Delicious with seltzer” 1926 Campari advertising painting
Exhibited at the 1926 Venice Biennale, this was a controversial operation that included an advertisement in a fine arts context.
PP. 190-191 white and green spread
PP. 192-193 Two Campari Cordial advertisements
PP. 194-195 Two Campari Bitter advertisements
PP. 196-197 Campari Bitter and Campari Cordial advertisements
PP. 198-199 Six Campari advertisements
PP. 200-201 Clients of the Depero’s House of Art
PP. 202-203 Short articles on the Depero decorated Bottega del Diavolo café and a Futurist peasant festival / Article about Depero’s advertising billboards
PP. 204-205 Short testimonials about Depero in various languages
PP. 206-207 Article about Depero in Spanish / Short texts and reviews
PP. 208-209 Short texts and reviews
PP. 210-211 Article about Depero in Polish
PP. 212-213 Article about Depero in Polish (continued) / “Long live Marinetti”
PP. 214-215 onomalingua section header
An introduction to Depero’s “onomalingua” poetic language. The text begins: “It derives from onomatopoeia, from noise, from the brutality of Futurist words-in-freedom. It is the language of forces of nature: wind. rain. sea. river. stream. etc. of the noise-making artificial beings created by man.”
PP. 218-219 Abstract Verbalization of a Lady
PP. 220-221 Tramway, 1916
PP. 222-223 SiiO VLUMMIA – Creek, 1916
PP. 224-225 Rumorist song (Chinese rhythm), 1916
PP. 226-227 “Cry to the Futurists” text by Depero
The page on the right features advertisements for four companies that contributed to the publication of Depero Futurista. G. Bologna & C. is referred to as the “bolts factory” and Tensi corporation as the “paper factory.” G. Monzani and C. is called the “photo-mechanical workshop” and Davide Campari-Milano, the parent company of Campari, is also acknowledged.
PP. 230-231 Futurist magazines
The grid of boxes on this page features the names and addresses of European Futurist magazines set in a variety of typefaces used throughout the book.