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I’m going to give you a little history and perspectives in this type of art, known as dada art. You will understand why this art form is much speculated to not be an art form but something that is being portrayed as “anti-art”. With similar acts of great self-expression shown throughout history, always comes some form of hate towards these expressions. Georges Hugnet the author of The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art Vol. 4, No. 2, Dada and Surrealism states that, “Dada is ageless, it has no parents, but stands alone, making no distinction between what is and what is not.
“It approves while denying, it contradicts itself, and acquires new force by this very contradiction. ” The origin of dada art is said to be created by Romanian poet Tristan Tzara, yet Richard Huelsen and Hugo Ball had discovered the name dada by randomly by plunging a knife into a dictionary repeatedly. Dada was an international signifier of negation, which this art took the almost proven factor out of art.
This art is not just paintings or sculptures, instead with things like vandalized Mona Lisa’s, a broken toilet, paintings that directly insult politician leaders. This art form took on an impression of its own for its time.
Such works, in their willful denial of the artist’s aesthetic sensibilities, were considered by many used to thinking of art in more serious, high-minded terms as “anti-art”. With many artists that attempted dada art, Marcel Duchamp put dada art on the map.
Marcel Duchamp who was known for his work named “Nude Descending a Staircase” was a very innovative artist that was criticizing the normal art motions of his time. In April 1917, Duchamp introduced the most monumental piece of dada art created. This work of art was called “Fountain” and was submitted to the New York Society of Independent Artists exhibition in New York.
The exhibition committee, had agreed that all work submitted would be shown, and therefore unable to reject his piece. To Duchamp’s amusement, the committee decided to hide his artwork behind a curtain. This was Duchamp’s famous piece later called the “R. Mutt. ” A paper named the “The Blind Man” defended this piece saying “Whether Mr. Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view- created a new thought for the object. With some people in utter belief that the “R. Mutt” is considered art, some people were astounded at the originality and meaning of what this broken toilet actually did mean. As you know now, dada art is a widely misconcepeted art and receives a lot of criticism from the art community. With the work of artists in this field comes, creativity, passion, self-expression, and determination to change perspectives. This is a hard task due to how people see art as something defined as a sculpture or a painting.
As I will restate from earlier, Georges Hugnet states “Dada is ageless, it has no parents, but stands alone, making no distinction between what is and what is not. ” “It approves while denying, it contradicts itself, and acquires new force by this very contradiction. ” After reading that statement, it shows me a different way that dada art can be looked at with much deeper meaning. With learning a little more about dada art and many perceptions, I hope I was able to change your perspective of this type of art. Bibliography <Hugnet, Georges, and Margaret Scolari. Dada and Surrealism. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1936. Print. >
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