Essay on Dada's Contribution to Contemporary Art

1113 Words Jun 26th, 2011 5 Pages
Dada and its impact on Contemporary Art

According to the Oxford Dictionary of art, Dada was “A movement in European art (with manifestations also in New York), c.1915–c.1922, characterized by a spirit of rebellious revolt against traditional values. It arose from a mood of cynicism engendered by the First World War, to which some artists reacted with, cynicism, sarcasm and nihilism.”

Gathering in Hugo Balls’ Cabaret Voltaire for spontaneous readings, performances and exhibitions, a group of early avant-gardes mainly of German and French origin, formed the organization known as Dada. (Justin Wolf’s Dada)

Numerous explanations were given for the group’s name, Dada, which in French means Hobby Horse. The most
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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

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