Dada art first emerged during World War I, a period where millions of military personnel and civillians were killed and the loss of human life and destruction by trench warfare and new technological advances disillusioned artists at the time. With the dissemination of social structures and currupt/nationalist politics, from 1916 to the mid-1920s artists in Zurich, Cologne, Hanover, New York, and Paris declared "war" on the conventional thought of art and emerged from "disgust" as poet Tristan Tzara said at the time. 

 

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Jasper Johns. Three Flags. 1953

 

The Dada movement was based in ideas rather than aesthetic, and they rejected logic, reason, capitalist society and expressed irrationality and nonsense most of the time. Major players in the movement were Hugo Ball, Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp, and Tristan Tzara to name a few. 

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Marcel Duchamp. Bicycle Wheel. New York, 1951

 

Now Dada artists critique modernity, and reference technologies, newspapers, films and advertisements that define contemporary life. Dada art can consist of anything from sculptures, to music, collages, paintings and even poems. Contemporary Dada artists or Neo-Dada artists like Ushio Shinohara, Urs FischerRobert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Jim Dine have continued the ideals of the movement into modern day society with new true Dada artists becoming scarce. 

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Ushio Shinohara. Boxing Painting. 2013

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Urs Fischer. Raindrops. 2013

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Robert Rauschenberg. Monogram. 1955-59

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Jasper Johns. Corpse and Mirror. 1976

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Jim Dine. Walking Dream with a Four Foot Clamp. 1965

If you are feeling creative and trying out the Dada art movement, check out our new Creative Invite for the Moxy Washington D.C. Downtown to create an art installation idea inspired by the Dada art movement and the city!