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Dada’s Contribution to Contemporary Art Essay

Dada’s Contribution to Contemporary Art Essay

This research paper supports my belief that Dada had a far reaching effect on art of the 21st century so much so that contemporary art as we know it could not have come into existence without Dada. Dada Zurich was the catalyst for many other centres of the nihilistic movement. Tristan Tzara was the major force behind the Zurich Dada where he and Francis Picabia produced 8 issues of Dada magazines in both French and German between the years 1917 to 1921. (Dada Anti-Art Movement) Upon the end of the war Switzerland’s importance as a neutral refuge educed, resulting in Richard Huelsenbeck, leaving for Berlin while Picabia went to Paris, and when Tzara followed him in 1920 thus ending the Zurich phase of Dada.

(Dada Anti-Art Movement) Richard Huelsenbeck was the founding member of Dada Berlin which included members such as; Johannes Baader, George Grosz, Raoul Hausmann, Helmut Herzfelde and Hanna Hoch. (Dada Anti-Art Movement) Dada Berlin was known to be satirical and highly political with targets more and precisely defined than any other Dada movement.

Dada Berlin utilized periodicals, including Club Dada and Der Dada, which employed the use of photomontage and typography.

The Cologne Dada group was formed in 1918 by Jean Arp and Max Ernst and was known to be less political and more focused on being anti-aesthetic. (Dada Anti-Art Movement) Max Ernst was known for his satirical collage techniques using popular printed material, depicting the weirdly erotic. (Dada – The Anti-War Art Movement) In May 1920 Dada Cologne hosted one of the first Dada exhibitions. Held in the courtyard of a public house accessed through a men’s bathroom the exhibition was soon closed down by the authorities due to suspected pornographic content but later reopened. IAN CHILVERS Dada) Dada Hannover was formed in 1919 after Kurt Schwitters applied to join the Berlin dadaists but was refused because of his unpolitical attitude. Schwitters possessed a unique dedication to Dada ideas, leading to the production of artwork constructed using urban refuse and found objects (objets trouves). This had a major influence on later movements like Junk Art, Assemblage and Arte Povera. (Dada Anti-Art Movement) Not limited to Europe, the Dada movement also had a New York Centre.

Formed by Marcel Duchamp, renowned for reproducing the Mona Lisa with a beard and moustache and signing a urinal proclaiming it to be a fountain, along with Man Ray, a well sought after fashion and portrait photographer, renowned for his photograph Le Violin d`Ingres. (Justin Wolf’s Dada) Dada Paris, which was known for its theatrical and multi-cultural activities, came about when, many of its early founders, such as Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Francis Picabia and Tristan Tzara went to Paris, where they met with a number of french poets including Louis Aragon and Andre Breton.

Dada Paris was later dissolved when Breton, unable to deal with Tzara’s and Picabia’s nihilistic mentality, left to start a new movement. This marked the birth of Surrealism. (Dada Anti-Art Movement) According to Dieter Wanczura, “Surrealism emphasizes the unconscious, the importance of dreams, and the psychological aspect in arts and became an important movement in the fine arts, literature and in films. ” Unlike Dada, Surrealism’s emphasis was not on negation but on positive expression.

It has a sense of playfulness and impulsiveness that brings fantasy and mystery into art pieces. The most fascinating aspect is that there are so many questions and ideas that surround Surrealism making it a hugely inspiring modern art/contemporary art movement. (Surrealism ; Surrealist artists) Contemporary artist today, challenge, oppression, authority and control that spans economic, social and political concepts. More importantly, contemporary art frequently touches on deep emotional issues that trouble our society.

The Dada organization challenged the status quo of society and what is viewed as art making it easier for more artists’ work to be viewed as art because they no longer need to conform to any particular standards or values of society. Due to the Surrealist movement, society has been exposed to the concept that art can be anything the artist visualizes or feels inside. This can sometimes seem odd to the public who does not see its values and heroic stature, resulting in art not being noticed and appreciated by collectors, galleries and museums but judged as a masterpiece by people who share the artist feelings and thoughts.