Dada or Dadaism Art Movement

Dadaism was an art and cultural movement that developed in 1916 through an agreement between a group of young artists in Zurich, Switzerland. It was the time of war. In fact, the first World War was ongoing during those times. The movement started with that fateful gathering of poets, writers, painters and other young artists who protested to the ongoing war around the world. These young artists believed that the war started because of the rationalization, intellectual rigidity, reason and logic, aside from bourgeois interests led to the horrors of war. They believed that rejecting logic and embracing irrationality would bring about the change in the situation of the ongoing war. With this belief, the Dada movement was born.

Dadaism in art was actually considered by its proponents as “anti-art”. Dadaists protested against accepted conventions and the academic and cultured aspects of art. What traditional art tried to represent, Dadaists tried to represent the opposite. If traditional artists strived for putting some air of meaning in their art works, Dadaists made artworks with no perceptible meaning or, at least, didn’t convey any particular message. Dadaist artworks can be interpreted differently by different people, depending entirely on the perceptions of the viewer.

What helped in the rapid spreading of the Dadaist movement is the fact that it was formed by artists from different nationalities. Switzerland was a neutral country to the ongoing war which became the ideal location for exiles of other countries affected by the war. This included the young artists who came from different European countries affected by the war. After the war ended sometime during 1918 that the Zurich Dadaists went back to their home countries and spread the philosophies and beliefs of the movement to others. The movement eventually spread into other European countries such as France, Germany, The Netherlands and eventually found its way into the US via New York.

It the way that Dadaism tried to approach its art- that of rejecting traditional aesthetics and culture- it became a big influence in the development of future art movements such as Surrealism and other forms of Modernism art. Among its influential members include Marcel Duchamp who was a French artist who became an American citizen and helped shaped the development of post-WWII Western art. He is best known for exhibiting a urinal as art and named it “Fountain”. Max Ernst was another artist that was a noted Dadaist. He was known as a mixed media artists and was also known to have developed the art technique called frottage in which a pencil or other drawing tool is being used to capture an a textured image on paper by rubbing the said tool into the textured surface of the image.

Man Ray is also a noted Dadaist. Even though he considered himself first and foremost as a painter, he was more famous for his contributions in avant-garde photography most notably for his fashion and portrait photographs. His works in film, painting, sculpture, assemblage among other media were also known to be the the first examples of what became known as in the art circles as performance or conceptual art.

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