Dada Art Movement – Making Mischief

As a designer, I am passionate about the history of art and their influence on ‘visual design.’  In art history, Dada is the artistic movement that preceded Surrealism, it began in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1916 by a group of mostly painters and painters.  Dada artworks challenged the preconceived notions of what art meant.  Many Dadaists felt that the way to salvation was through political anarchy, the natural emotions, the intuitive and the irrational.

Closely linked to the war experience of Word War One.  Dadaism peaked between 1916 and 1920 and introduced an anti-war narrative.

“The beginnings of Dada, were not the beginning of art but of disgust.”

Tristan Tzara

The origin of the term “DaDa” as it was coined in 1916 is still doubtful.  The popular version is that a French-German dictionary opened at random produced the word “DaDa,” meaning a child’s rocking horse.   The term perhaps satisfied the desire for something irrational and nonsensical. Others suggest that Romanian “Da da da da da” (“yes, yes”).  Irrespective of its origin, the name DaDa is the central mocking symbol of this attack on established movements that characterised twentieth-century art.

Dada – Anti-Art

Hannah Hoch perfected the photomontage technique, her works depicting the absurd illogic of Dada with “chaotic, contradictory, and satirical compositions.”

“Equilibre” was typical of Dada and was created in 1925.  The following piece has a collage-like quality.  The theme of balance was addressed in many of Hoch’s works.

dada - Equilibre
Hannah Hoch’s 1925 “Equillibre,” or Balance,” was originally titled “America Balancing Europe.”

Dada art is described in many ways: it is humorous, complex or ironic, and mischievous. Materials that are used are everything from found or disposable objects and assemblages to watercolour oil and wood.

dada cut with a kitchen knife
Hannah Höch, Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany, 1919, collage of pasted papers, 90×144 cm
Dada Tzara
Marcel Janco’s poster, “Mouvement Dada, Tristan Tzara Reading”
Dada - Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp – Dada spirit of defiance by a moustached reproduction of the Mona Lisa

teamSimon is a Sydney based digital designer. He is the Director of a boutique digital design studio, Bailey Street Design located in the vibrant inner west suburb of Newtown.  Simon studied graphic design at Shillington College and specialises in web design for small and medium size businesses.  Simon and his team (Toby the studio dog) are passionate about visual communication in the digital environment

 

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