Dada Movement, Artists and Major Works. Dada was an artistic and literary movement that began in Z. It arose as a reaction to World War I and the nationalism that many thought had led to the war. Influenced by other avant- garde movements - Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, and Expressionism - its output was wildly diverse, ranging from performance art to poetry, photography, sculpture, painting, and collage. Dada's aesthetic, marked by its mockery of materialistic and nationalistic attitudes, proved a powerful influence on artists in many cities, including Berlin, Hanover, Paris, New York, and Cologne, all of which generated their own groups.
The movement dissipated with the establishment of Surrealism. Switzerland was neutral during WWI with limited censorship and it was in Z. In order to attract other artists and intellectuals, Ball put out a press release that read, . Under this name a group of young artists and writers has formed with the object of becoming a center for artistic entertainment.
In principle, the Cabaret will be run by artists, guests artists will come and give musical performances and readings at the daily meetings. There is little agreement on how the word Dada was invented, but one of the most common origin stories is that Richard Huelsenbeck found the name by plunging a knife at random into a dictionary. They also appreciated that the word might mean the same (or nothing) in all languages - as the group was avowedly internationalist. The aim of Dada art and activities was both to help to stop the war and to vent frustration with the nationalist and bourgeois conventions that had led to it. Their anti- authoritarian stance made for a protean movement as they opposed any form of group leadership or guiding ideology.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The Spread of Dada. The artists in Z. In 1. 91. 7, after Ball left for Bern to pursue journalism, Tzara founded Galerie Dada on Bahnhofstrasse where further Dada evenings were held along with art exhibits.
Tzara became the leader of the movement and began an unrelenting campaign to spread Dada ideas, showering French and Italian writers and artists with letters. The group published an art and literature review entitled Dada starting in July 1. Z. Their art was focused on performance and printed matter.
Once the war ended in 1. The riot, which began as a Dada event, was one of the most significant. It attracted over 1. This was followed by discordant music and then several readings that encouraged crowd participation until the crowd lost control and began to destroy several of the props.
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Tzara described it thus: . Dada has succeeded in establishing the circuit of absolute unconsciousness in the audience which forgot the frontiers of education of prejudices, experienced the commotion of the New. Final victory of Dada. This was a total negation of traditional art. Soon after this, Tzara traveled to Paris, where he met Andr. Dadaists did not self- consciously declare micro- regional movements; the spread of Dada throughout various European cities and into New York can be attributed to a few key artists, and each city in turn influenced the aesthetics of their respective Dada groups. Germany. In 1. 91.
Huelsenbeck returned from Z. Closer to a war zone, the Berlin Dadaists came out publicly against the Weimar Republic and their art was more political: satirical paintings and collages that featured wartime imagery, government figures, and political cartoon clippings recontextualized into biting commentaries. In February of 1. Huelsenbeck gave his first Dada speech in Berlin and several journals, including Club Dada and Der Dada, were published that year along with a manifesto in April. The photomontage technique was developed in Berlin during this period. In 1. 92. 0 Hausmann and Huelsenbeck give a lecture tour in Dresden, Hamburg, Leipzig, and Prague. His Merz, as he termed his art, was less politically oriented than that of the Club Dada; his works instead examine modernist preoccupations with shape and color.
Another Dada group was formed in Cologne in 1. Max Ernst and Johannes Theodor Baargeld. Importantly, Hans Arp joined the next year and made breakthroughs in his collage experiments. Their exhibits focused on anti- bourgeois and nonsensical art.
In 1. 92. 0, one such exhibit was closed down by the police. By 1. 92. 2, German Dada was winding down. In that year, Ernst left Cologne for Paris, thus dissolving that group. Others became interested in other movements. Schwitter's Merz publication continued sporadically for several years.
Paris. After hearing of the Dada movement in Z. There were several demonstrations, exhibitions, and performances organized along with manifestos and journals published, including Dada and Le Cannibale. Picabia and Breton withdrew from the movement in 1. Picabia published a special issue of 3. Paris Dada had become the thing it originally fought against: a mediocre established movement. In wishing to prolong it, Dada became closed . Dada, you see, was not serious..
One must be a nomad, pass through ideas like one passes through countries and cities. Two final Dada stage performances are held in Paris in 1. Surrealism. Marcel Duchamp provided a crucial creative link between the Z. The Swiss group considered Marcel Duchamp's readymades to be Dada artworks, and they appreciated Duchamp's humor and refusal to define art.
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New York. Like Z. Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia arrived in the city only days apart in June of 1. Man Ray. Duchamp served as a critical interlocutor, bringing the notion of anti- art to the group where it took a decidedly mechanistic turn. One of his most important pieces, The Large Glass or Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even, was begun in New York in 1. Dada milestone for its depiction of a strange, erotic drama using mechanical forms. By 1. 91. 6 Duchamp, Picabia, and Man Ray were joined by the American artist Beatrice Wood and the writers Henri- Pierre Roche and Mina Loy. Much of their anti- art activity took place in Alfred Stieglitz's 2.
Walter and Louise Arensberg. Their publications, such as The Blind Man, Rongwrong, and New York Dada challenged conventional museum art with more humor and less bitterness than European groups.
It was during this period that Duchamp began exhibiting readymades (found objects) such as a bottle rack, and got involved with the Society of Independent Artists. In 1. 91. 7 he submitted Fountain to the Society of Independent Artists show.
Picabia's travels helped tie New York, Z. From 1. 91. 7 through 1. Dada periodical 3.
Stieglitz's 2. 91 periodical. Picabia's 3. 91 was first published in Barcelona, then in various cities including New York, Z. The periodical was mainly literary, however, with Picabia being the prime contributor. The 1. 91. 8 Dada Manifesto had declared: .
Art must be unaesthetic in the extreme, useless, and impossible to justify. In addition to the special issue of 3. Paris Dada in 1. 92.
Picabia accuses Surrealism of being a fabricated movement, writing that . Some Dadaists portrayed people and scenes representationally in order to analyze form and movement. Others, like Schwitters and Man Ray, practiced abstraction to express the metaphysical essence of their subject matter. Both modes sought to deconstruct daily experience in challenging and rebellious ways.
The key to understanding Dada works lies in reconciling the seemingly silly, slapdash styles with the profound anti- bourgeois message. Tzara especially fought the assumption that Dada was a statement; yet Tzara and his fellow artists became increasingly agitated by politics and sought to incite a similar fury in Dada audiences. Irreverence. Irreverence was a crucial component of Dada art, whether it was a lack of respect for bourgeois convention, government authorities, conventional production methods, or the artistic canon.
Each group varied slightly in their focus, with the Berlin group being the most anti- government and the New York group being the most anti- art. Of all the groups, the Hannover group was likely the most conservative. Readymades and Assemblage.
A readymade was simply an object that already existed and was commandeered by Dada artists as a work of art, often in the process combined with another readymade, as in Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel, thus creating an assemblage. The pieces were often chosen and assembled by chance or accident to challenge bourgeois notions about art and artistic creativity. Indeed, it is difficult to completely separate conceptually the Dada interest in chance with their focus on readymades and assemblage.
Several of the readymades and assemblages were bizarre, a quality that made it easy for the group to merge eventually with Surrealism. Other artists who worked with readymades and assemblages include Ernst, Man Ray, and Hausmann.
Chance. Chance was a key concept underpinning most of Dada art from the abstract and beautiful compositions of Schwitters to the large assemblages of Duchamp. Chance was used to embrace the random and the accidental as a way to release creativity from rational control, with Arp being one of the earliest and best- known practitioners. Schwitters, for example, gathered random bits of detritus from a variety of locales, while Duchamp welcomed accidents such as the crack that occurred while he was making The Large Glass. In addition to loss of rational control, Dada lack of concern with preparatory work and the embrace of artworks that were marred fit well with the Dada irreverence for traditional art methods.
Wit and Humor. Tied closely to Dada irreverence was their interest in humor, typically in the form of irony. In fact, the embrace of the readymade is key to Dada's use of irony as it shows an awareness that nothing has intrinsic value.