Dada rejects rational thinking

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Dada rejects rational thinking "Dada" arrived in almost all major Western cities between 1916 and 1922/3 5 main sites: Zurich, Paris, New York, Berlin, Cologne

  • Revolted by the butchery of the 1914 World War, we in Zurich devoted ourselves to the arts.
  • While the guns rumbled in the distance, we sang, painted, made collages and wrote poems with all our might. We were seeking an art based on fundamentals, to cure the madness of the age, and a new order of things that would restore the balance between heaven and hell.”
  • - Jean (Hans) Arp

Hugo Ball (German,1886 -1927) performing Dada phonetic poem "karawane" on stage at Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich 1916 "Art for us is an occasion for social criticism, and for a real understanding of the age we lived in"

Marcel Janco (Romanian,1895-1984), Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich Switzerland, 1916 "We had lost our confidence in our culture... we would begin again after the tabula rasa" - Marcel Janco

(Center above) Jean Arp (Alsatian,1886-1966) and Sophie Täuber (Swiss,1889-1943), photo of the artists with puppets by Täuber; Swiss; 1918 (right) Sophie Taeuber and her sister in Dada Costumes for an interpretative dance based on a Hugo Ball poem,1916

  • Taeuber, puppet for
  • King’s Guards, 1918
  • Taeuber with Dada Head,
  • 1919

Jean (Hans) Arp, Collage Arranged According to the Laws of Chance, 1916-17, torn and pasted paper, 19 x 13” "Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother's womb." - Jean Arp

Jean Arp, Portrait of Tristan Tzara, 1916, oil on wood assemblage “Destroy the hoaxes of reason and discover an unreasoned order.” - Jean Arp

Cover of Dada No. 3, Marcel Janco, December 1918,

Jean Arp, Head With Three Annoying Objects, 1930, bronze, 14 x 10 x 7” (“objects” can be moved by the viewer) Dada/Surrealist sculpture

(left) Arp in the mid-1930‘s surrounded by his plaster sculptures, some of which were later made in marble or bronxe (right) Arp, Human Concretion, 1933, 22” x 31” x 21”

Francis Picabia (French-Cuban, 1875-1953): International Dada, “Mechanomorphic” images: (left) Ici, c'est ici Stieglitz / Foi et Amour [Here, This is Stieglitz / Faith and Love], Cover of 291, 1915 (right) Francis Picabia. Love Parade/Parade Amoureuse, 1917, oil/cdbd. 95 x 72 cm.

Francis Picabia, Cover of 391, (left) No. 5 (New York, July 1917) (right) no.8, 1919

Man Ray photo portraits of Marcel Duchamp (French 1887-1966) Right) Duchamp as Rrose Sélavy c. 1920 New York Dada

Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No.2, 1912, oil, 58 x 35”

Marcel Duchamp, (left) Bride, oil on canvas (right) The Passage from Virgin to Bride, Munich, July-August, 1912, oil, 23 x 21”

Marcel Duchamp. Bottle Rack, 1914/64, bottle rack made of galvanized iron Bicycle Wheel, 1913, “Readymade”: bicycle wheel, mounted on a stool, Original lost

Duchamp, Fountain 1917 (photographed in 1917 by Alfred Stieglitz), New York DADA Duchamp said he chose his objects on "visual indifference… as well as a total absence of taste, good or bad."

Duchamp, L.H.O.O.Q, 1919, reproduction with hand drawn mustache and goatee “Readymade Assisted”

Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitsky, American, 1890-1976) Gift, 1921 Duchampian "ready-made altered" & Surrealist "uncanny" object

Man Ray, rayographs, 1922 – direct exposure without a camera

Man Ray, (left) Larmes (Tears), 1922; (right) Ingres' Violin, 1924 altered photograph.

(left) Man Ray, Érotique voilée (1934-35) Meret Opperheim behind printing press (right) Meret Oppenheim (German, 1913-1985), Object (Luncheon in Fur) 1936, fur covered cup, saucer, spoon

Marcel Duchamp, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) 1915-23, oil, lead wire, foil, dust, and varnish on glass, 8’11” x 5’7”

Marcel Duchamp, Nine Malic Molds, 1914-15, 64 x 102 cm. Oil, lead wire, lead foil on glass between two glass plates (right) Chocolate Grinder No.2, 1914, Oil and thread on canvas. 65 x 54 cm.

  • It was fundamentally Roussel who was responsible for my glass, La Mariée mis à nu par ses célibataires, même. From his Impressions d’Afrique I got the general approach….My ideal library would have contained all Roussel’s writings – Brisset, perhaps Lautréamont and Mallarmé….This is the direction in which art should turn: to an intellectual expression . . . . I am sick of the expression “bête comme un peintre” – stupid as a painter.” - Marcel Duchamp

Duchamp, Étant Donnés: 1º La Chute D'eau 2º Le Gaz D'éclairage (Given: The Waterfall, The Illuminating Gas) 1946-66, an old wooden door, bricks, velvet, twigs gathered by Duchamp on his walks in the park, leather stretched over a metal armature of a female form, glass, linoleum, an electric motor, etc.

Max Ernst (German, 1891-1976), (left) The Hat makes the Man, 1920 (right) Little Machine Constructed by Minimax Dadamax in Person, 1919–20. Hand printing, pencil and ink frottage, watercolor, and gouache on paper, 49.4 x 31.5 cm, Cologne Dada

Max Ernst, 1 Copper Plate 1 Zinc Plate 1 Rubber Cloth 2 Calipers 1 Drainpipe Telescope 1 Pipe Man, 1920, gouache, ink, and pencil on reproduction, 9 x 6” (right) Ernst, Misfortune of Mortals, 1922, photomontage

  • Mechanomorphism - Dada
  • Surrealist dream disjunction. Ernst
  • Met André Breton in 1921

Merz: Hannover Dada: Kurt Schwitters (German 1887-1948) (left) Cover design for Kurt Schwitters’ Merz, Hannover, Jan. 1923 (right) Merzbild 25A (Stars Picture), 1920, Assemblage, 41 x 31”

  • “The word “Merz” had no meaning when I formed it. Now it has the meaning which I gave it. The meaning of the concept “Merz” changes with the change in the insight of those who continue to work with it.” - Kurt Schwitters

Kurt Schwitters, Hanover Merzbau, 1924-37(destroyed in 1943) two views, photos c.1931; restoration detail (below center), 1960 Schwitters rebuilt the Merzbau in Norway in 1937 and again in England (University of Newcastle) in 1947

Berlin Dada First Dada Fair, Berlin, 1920; John Heartfield top left

John Heartfield (Born Herzfelde, German, 1891-1968) front covers of the newspaper AIZ (Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung / Workers’ Illustrated Newspaper), all from 1932-33 (left) The Butcher Goering, (center) Millions Stand Behind Me; (right) Hurrah, The Butter is Gone!

“They were the first to use photography to create, from often totally disparate spatial and material elements, a new unity in which was revealed a visually and conceptually new image of the chaos of an age of war and revolution. And they were aware that their method possessed a power for propaganda purposes which their contemporaries had not the courage to exploit ...” - Raoul Hausmann (Austrian, 1886-1971) on Dada photomontage

  • Hausmann, Dada Siegt!, 1919
  • Hausmann, Tatlin at Home, 1920

Raoul Hausmann (Austrian, 1886-1971), Mechanical Head [or The Spirit of Our Time], 1919, assemblage: wooden mannequin head, with objects attached to it (including a leather pocketbook, a collapsing aluminum cup, camera, telescope, and watch parts, a pipe, white cardboard with the figure 22, a part of a dressmaker's measure, a printing roller), 12 5/8” H

  • “The average German has no more capabilities than those which chance
  • has glued on the outside of his skull; his brain remains empty.” - Hausmann

Hannah Höch (German, 1889 -1978), Cut With the Kitchen Knife Dada through the Last Weimar Beer Belly Cultural Epoch of Germany, 1919 (right) Raoul Hausmann & Hannah Höch at 1920 Berlin Dada Fair

  • Höch in 1917
  • Detail, upper right – the “Anti-
  • Dada” of the Weimar Republic

Hannah Höch, Pretty Woman, 1920, anti-bourgeois, anti-capitalist, feminist critique The New Woman

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