Dada

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Dada

(dä`dä) or

Dadaism

(dä`däĭzəm), international nihilistic movement among European artists and writers that lasted from 1916 to 1922. Born of the widespread disillusionment engendered by World War I, it originated in Zürich with a 1916 party at the Cabaret Voltaire and the recitation of nonsense poetry by the Romanian Tristan TzaraTzara, Tristan
, 1896–1963, French writer, b. Romania. He studied at the Univ. of Zürich, where he and his friends formulated the dadaist movement initially as a pacifist statement (see Dada).
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, also the author of the Dada Manifesto. Dada attacked conventional standards of aesthetics and behavior and stressed absurdity and the role of the unpredictable in artistic creation. In Berlin, Dada had political overtones, exemplified by the caricatures of George GroszGrosz, George
, 1893–1959, German-American caricaturist, draughtsman, and painter, b. Berlin. Before and during World War I he contributed drawings on proletarian themes to Illustration and other German periodicals. He was associated with the Dada group at that time.
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 and Otto DixDix, Otto,
1891–1969, German painter and draftsman. Dix fought in World War I and returned to Düsseldorf haunted by the horrors he had witnessed. In 1924 he published War, a series of 50 etchings, horrifying visions of war's victims executed with great clarity.
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. The French movement was more literary in emphasis; it centered around Tzara, André BretonBreton, André
, 1896–1966, French writer, founder and theorist of the surrealist movement. He studied neuropsychology and was one of the first in France to publicize the work of Freud.
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, Louis AragonAragon, Louis
, 1897–1982, French writer. One of the founders of surrealism in literature, Aragon abandoned that philosophy for Marxism after a trip to the USSR in 1931.
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, Jean ArpArp, Jean or Hans,
1887–1966, French sculptor and painter. Arp was connected with the Blaue Reiter in Munich, various avant-garde groups in Paris, including the surrealists, and the Dadaists in Zürich.
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, Marcel DuchampDuchamp, Marcel
, 1887–1968, French painter, brother of Raymond Duchamp-Villon and half-brother of Jacques Villon. Duchamp is noted for his cubist-futurist painting Nude Descending a Staircase,
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, Francis PicabiaPicabia, Francis
, 1878–1953, French painter. After working in an impressionist style, Picabia was influenced by cubism and later was one of the original exponents of Dada in Europe and the United States.
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, and Man RayRay, Man,
1890–1976, American photographer, painter, and sculptor, b. Philadelphia. Along with Marcel Duchamp, Ray was a founder of the Dada movement in New York and Paris. He is celebrated for his later surrealist paintings and photography.
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. The latter three carried the spirit of Dada to New York City. Typical were the elegant collages devised by Arp, Kurt SchwittersSchwitters, Kurt
, 1887–1948, German artist, b. Hannover. Influenced by Kandinsky, by Picasso's reliefs, and by Dada constructions, he invented Merz [trash] constructions—arrangements of diverse materials and objects.
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, and Max ErnstErnst, Max
1891–1976, German painter. After World War I, Ernst joined the Dada movement in Paris and then became a founder of surrealism. Apart from the medium of collage, for which he is well known, Ernst developed other devices to express his fantastic vision.
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 from refuse and scraps of paper, and Duchamp's celebrated Mona Lisa adorned with a mustache and a goatee as well as his Fountain (1917), a urinal signed "R. Mutt." Dada principles were eventually modified to become the basis of surrealismsurrealism
, literary and art movement influenced by Freudianism and dedicated to the expression of imagination as revealed in dreams, free of the conscious control of reason and free of convention.
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 in 1924. The literary manifestations of Dada were mostly nonsense poems—meaningless random combinations of words—which were read in public.

Bibliography

See R. Short, Dada and Surrealism (1980); S. C. Foster, ed., Dada-Dimensions (1985); H. Richter, Dada: Art and Anti-Art (1985); R. Motherwell, ed., The Dada Painters and Poets (1951, 2d ed. 1989); A. Codrescu, The Posthuman Dada Guide (2009); J. Rasula, Destruction Was My Beatrice (2015).

Dada

, Dadaism
a nihilistic artistic movement of the early 20th century in W Europe and the US, founded on principles of irrationality, incongruity, and irreverence towards accepted aesthetic criteria
www.peak.org/~dadaist/English/Graphics
References in periodicals archive ?
another Dadaist motif that any frontline soldier would have understood.
Dadaism subsequently subsumed a broad range of styles and media: Dadaists, Action painters, Abstract Expressionists, Pop artists, and New Wave filmmakers all showed a passion for commenting on the underlying social relations and on the cynicism, ennui, and disillusionment inherent in the struggle to relate ourselves to a world of unparalleled and unchecked technological advance and information explosion and a social order still buried in barbarism and discord.
The current director was not among the so-called Neo Dadaists who in 2002 paved the way for the new Cabaret Voltaire, by squatting on the premises for months in a row.
There is a strong argument that cubism is the necessary first step of Dadaist works such as Picabia's L'oeil: cubism rejected received ideas by shattering unified perspective and incorporating found or factory-made objects, such as newspaper; Dada then removed the one remaining pre-1900 tenet that cubism had kept sacred, the right of the artist to decide on the composition.
We talk of Symbolists and Dadaists and someone mentions the 1909 Futurist Manifesto.
A move to Zurich brought Jawlensky stimulating exchanges with Paul Klee, the inventive Dadaists Jean Arp and Sophie Tauber-Arp, and sculptor Wilhelm Lehmbruck.
Aping the Dadaists half a century before them, they forged artworks out of uneaten meals, old tires, rusty mattresses and other urban detritus.
Reading the Dadaists from the nineties' armchair is in fact a lot like drinking Campari or Pernod: the wry pleasures of the experience are more available when one has visualized a milieu in which the activity has a social meaning - but the vibration and the colors are potent, in any case.
In the tradition of the Dadaists, Surrealists and others who have manipulated images, I photocopied a reproduction of Keith and distributed it to the students in my High School Drawing Workshop at the museum.
Its second phase, known as synthetic cubism, he says, enabled followers to put things back together again and laid the groundwork for the dadaists, the surrealists and even the pop artists.
Indeed, since World War I brought an end to people's trust in language, as evidenced by avant-garde poetry such as that of the Dadaists (long before Adorno's denial that there could be poetry after Auschwitz), there has been an endless stream of epistemological ruptures: There is a gap between signifier and signified; reality does not lie in its representation; and, still worse, truth no longer submits to scientific positivism.
From the end of World War I to the dawn of the Cold War, that nose-thumbing cry was taken up across Europe, first by the dadaists, then by their heirs, the surrealists.