Archive for the ‘Art & Art History’ Category

DADA 1916-1922

LHOOQ_Marcel Duchamp

Dada was an art movement born out of reaction to the First World War. Dada was a major influence on Surrealism, and both these movements had dramatic influences on the art movements that were to follow. Both these movements challenged and scorned traditional norms of society.

During WWI Zurich, Switzerland, remained neutral. This then became the first important art centre for the new movement, because of the young men and women who fled here as exiles and protestors against the war that was sweeping Europe.  Among them was the German writers Hugo Ball and Richard Huelsenbeck, Rumanian Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco, Alsatian painter, sculptor and writer Jean Arp, and the German painter Hans Richter. These artists are mainly associated with Zurich Dada.

The Zurich artists began doing an important re-evaluation of traditions, norms and logic, and even of the accepted ideas of beauty and order, that had for centuries now dominated art. They began expressing their reactions to and the “madness” of the War.

The main aim of Dada was to shock traditional society and with this shock-value, carry out their message of anti-reason and anti-war. Dada was a state of mind rather than a true art movement, and Dadaists felt that logic and reason had caused the war, therefore they were against it.

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