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DADAISM
DADAISM
DADAISM

Dadaism began in Zurich, Switzerland during the First World War. It started as a reaction to the horror of the war and against society, which Dadaists believed had caused the war. Dadists wanted to destroy traditional values, not only in art but in society generally.They thought society’s complacency had led to the World War 1 and wanted to bring in a new art which would encourage new thinking. One artist wrote, “revolted by the butchery of the 1914 World War, we in Zurich devoted ourselves to the arts”. Switzerland was neutral and did not take part in the war.

 

Shown Left, Le Jardin de la France

Max Ernst

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many artists found themselves in Switzerland during the war having fled their own countries to escape the fighting. This artistic community came together to discuss and collaborate and the result was Dada. Dada’s official founder was Hugo Ball. He started a satirical nightclub called Cabaret Voltaire and a magazine which he called, “Dada,Dada,Dada,Dada,Dada”

 

An interesting historical note about The Cabaret Voltaire is that Vladimir Lenin was writing his revolutionary plans for Russia in an apartment near the club at the same time.  He was said to be less than impressed.

 

The Dada movement spread throughout Europe and the USA and laid the foundations of Surrealism in Paris. According to Dadaists, Dada was not art but anti-art. Its proponents wanted to be the opposite of all that art stood for. Some wanted to break down society and start again to create a future without the possibility of war.

 

Thus Dada chose to ignore such artistic conventions as composition by creating unconventional works. Instead of having meaning, it chose to be meaningless. Instead of appealing to the viewer, it chose to offend. Instead of being art, it declared itself anti-art.

 

Randomness formed the basis of their artwork because they claimed that ‘planning’ had led to war. Dada was seeking to communicate the chaos and confusion that many people felt had been thrust upon them by an unwanted war.

 

Amongst the most famous exponents of Dadaism were the artists, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst and Man Ray.

 

Marcel Duchamp questioned the nature of art itself and he exhibited “ready mades” or ‘found objects’ as art. His most famous piece was a urinal, which he signed R Mutt. He submitted this for an exhibition for The Society of Independent Artists. He called it The Fountain, (shown left) and perhaps not surprisingly, it was rejected by the Society. For anti-art one can only assume this was ironic. Or was it?

 

Ridiculed at the time it has since become a benchmark for some. In 2004 the judges at the Turner prize in the UK called The Fountain, “The most influential work of modern art”

In an attempt to make the spirit of Dada live on, artist Pierre Pinocelli urinated on The Fountain in 1993 and as if this wasn’t enough, he smashed it with a hammer in 2006. Classic Dada!

 

Dada was an influential art or anti art movement which had a significant influence on subsequent art and culture. It injected a sense of humour and undoubtedly shook up the art establishment at the time by questioning what is art?

 

Dada paintings are amongst the best selling prints, posters and canvases gracing living rooms, bedrooms and offices the world over. We hope you’ve enjoyed our facts about Dadaism and we’ve inspired you to own some Dada art for yourself.

 

 

Shown above right, Marcel Duchamp’s Mona Lisa with a moustache. He entitled this piece,” L.H.O.O.Q.”, the letters when said in French spell out “elle a chaud au cul” translated means “she is hot in the ass”  
What a scamp.

 

 

 

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Started in Zurich, Switzerland.  1916-1922 Quickly spread throughout Europe and the USA

2

Reaction to horrors of World War One, Dadaists were disillusioned with society that created the war but also with traditional art which they saw as part of the bourgeois society that had been complicit in the war

3

Claimed to be not art but anti-art

4

Cabaret Voltaire, a satirical nightclub

Founded by Hugo Ball a Swiss artist in collaboration with other European artists who ended up in neutral Switzerland during the war

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Marcel Duchamp’s 1917 work, called The Fountain, was in fact a urinal. He submitted it to an exhibition to question the nature of art itself. It was signed, R Mutt. The organisers refused to exhibit it.

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Claimed to be meaningless and nonsense, random and chance

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As you would expect from an art movement with no rules it is hard to identify because individual artists interpreted Dada in their own way. Works produced were often radically different and only the artists could decide if their work was Dada or not

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Led to the Surrealist movement in Paris

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Vladimir Lenin was producing his revolutionary plan for Russia in an apartment near The Cabaret Voltaire at the same time, he was said to be less than impressed with his artistic neighbours

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Dadaists wanted to offend, rather than please the eye

10 fast and fab facts about Dadaism

Facts about Dadaism
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