Dada, Dadaism

Dadaism is an art movement born in Zurich in 1915, which then migrated to Berlin before arriving in New York.   This was a movement that was primarily born in opposition to World War 1.  It comprised of artists, intellectuals, poets, writers, and wanted to make its anti-war statement by formulating an anti-art cultural movement.  Dadaism also was anti-capitalist in so far as it was opposed to the bourgeoisie.  Dada activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/literary journals; passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture were topics often discussed in a variety of media.

As with every social movement, there was also a Dada Manifesto.  It celebrates its status as being about nothing, rejecting reason and logic.  It is also laden with dollops of irony, mockery and humor.  The origins of the name Dada are unclear; some believe that it is a nonsensical word while others trace its origins to Romanian.

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It included artists such as Marcel DuChamp, Hannah Hoch, Max, Ernst, Hans Richter.  Dada is also associated with the techniques of collage, photomontage, assemblage and readymades.


Marcel Duchamp, LHOOQ, 1919


Marcel Duchamp. Fountain, 1917 — he used the pseudonym R. Mutt; this is an example of readymade art


Hannah Hoch, Cut with the Kitchen Knife through the Beer Belly of the Weimar Republic, 1919 — she was one f the few women involved in the movement and hers is an example of collage.


Raoul Hausman, ABCD self portrait 1923-24; this is an example of photomontage


Max Ernst, L’Ange Du Foyer, 1937 — he was married to Peggy Guggenheim who is one of the most significant art collectors of the 20th century.


Man Ray, Cadeau, 1958.  This is a photomontage and is representative of the photography associated with Dada.

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