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Dada Art

Kathy Sandy Destruction creates Construction “We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched with a new form of beauty, the beauty of speed. ” Martinetti The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism, 1908. The idea of futurism was brought on during World War I, the impact of the Industrial Revolution and the advancements of technology. Futurism broke out of traditional art and looked at art as pointless and nothing, this progressed into further movements of anti-art, Dada, Suprematism and Surrealism.

These movements started and progressed throughout the interwar years and were influenced by politics and times of change in the world. The start of thinking of art as nothing came from the influence of the war and realizing that “art is not the most precious manifestation of life. ” Tzara, 1924 (386). After the beginning years of futurism and Dada, the anti-art, evolved into art and it creating a statement, within itself. These modern movements and ways of thinking provoked attention to middle class these movements are described as avant-garde, the movements are about change, change within oneself and the change within the world.

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Throughout the interwar years starting with futurism European avant-garde movements tried to destroy art, but by the idea of art is nothing, nothing became art, this contradiction developed and is the reason in which these movements progressed over time. Without the destruction of art, the construction wouldn’t be possible, the progression throughout European avant-garde created the innovative movements. The modern ways of living and thinking were products of these advancements.

The invention of the machine sparked the futuristic movement and was influenced in modern works of art. The art works play with movement and the construction of machinery and technology. An example of this is in the painting “Nude Descending a Staircase” by Duchamp in 1912, shows the mechanical brushstrokes and the way in which it shows movement, almost as if the subject was an engine. Futurism brought together sculpture and the use of dynamic colors seen in Malevich’s early paintings such as Man with Sack, 1911.

Two years later in 1913, Malevich attempted to free art of the conception of objects and meaning, realizing “that the “thing” and the “concept” were substituted for feeling and understood the falsity of the world of will and idea. ” (Malevich, Suprematism, 341. ) Moving from the intense almost robotic feel of futurism and the idea of movement, Malevich introduced the idea of freedom and feeling of art. Feeling the art works enforces the object to be non-existent, letting the free open space control ones feelings.

The past concepts of art are irrelevant, stripping art of subjects and objects which leaves one with what seems to be nothing, but “The Suprematists have deliberately given up objective representation of their surroundings in order to reach the summit of the true “unmasked” art and form this vantage point to view life through the prism of pure artistic feeling. ” (Malevich, Suprematism, 344. ) An example of this Suprematist art works is Malevich’s Suprematist Composition (White on White) 1918, which makes the viewer feel open and a sense of velocity through air.

Having no object gives total freedom and instead of observing and consciously thinking of the concept, the art is pure and it sets up the inability to be wrong of a non-objective feeling. After the painting White on White, he realized he had reached his goal, but during this movement, Dada was taking over the art world. The start of Dada was a rebellion, a rebellion of war and a rebellion of art. “The beginnings of Dada were not the beginnings of an art, but of a disgust. ” Tzara, Lecture on Dada, 1924.

Disgust with the past concepts of art and life, lead to the meaninglessness of this movement. Through creating meaningless art, no meaning became the meaning, so this anti-art became art within itself. Dada protests against the physical side of art and focused on more of the literal aspect, it involves literature to free themselves from a painter’s landmark to be free from the physical characteristic. Duchamp’s, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even 1915 was influenced by literature, “I felt that as a painter it was much better to be influenced by a writer than by another painter. Duchamp, Painting…at the service of the mind, 1946. This title of the piece of art has no meaning to the actual art work instead Duchamp didn’t want to impose a meaning upon the viewer, but with trying to make the title meaningless and have no relevance to the actual paining, “no meaning” became the meaning. The anti-art and the meaningless art was heavily criticized and created conflict from the contradiction, this lead artists to re-evaluate Dada and some realized that dada “draws no conclusion, no pride, no benefit. Tzara, Lecture on Dada 1924. Many Dadaist made this revelation and transformed the avant-garde movement and switched to surrealism. This new movement of surrealism began in 1919 with the discovery of the dream like stage that humans get early in the morning, at around 4 a. m. by experiencing this state they express it and turned it into art. The reason that many Dadaist became surrealist is because of the loose conceptualization of art yet the intense creativeness that it brings.

It was also accepting of all painters and was a central bureau for all artists. “These various groups are united and brought into harmony in one single order, unreality…This surreality-a relation in which all notions are merged together. ” Breton, What is Surrealism, 1934. Surrealists were known to be goofy and play with there thoughts. The base of surrealism is the expression of pure thoughts and with the state of mind that one acquires at 4 in the morning is uncontaminated but at the same time confusing and may lead to reaching the unknown.

After experiencing this state one produces artwork an example of this is Alberto Giacometti, The Palace at 4 a. m. , 1932. This artwork consists of many ideas, all surrealism is a multi level ideas but creates itself into a creative innovate movement. Many surrealist create objects and sculpture, creating art that mimics toys for adults, such as the Alberto Giacometti, Suspended Ball, 1930-31, which artists became obsessed with the multiplicity of the sculpture.

Surrealism over powered the art world throughout the 20s and 30s evolving over all the major cities of the world and created a radical avant-garde movement until it became a threat to the government and once World War II broke out in 1939, the war overshadowing almost all artistic production. Throughout the interwar years of 1918 and 1939 there were many influences and many movements of art that had formed contractions yet created and expressed through these specific times.

Starting the progression of European avant-garde movements began with the influence of futurism, which developed into suprematism that contended with Dadaism, which eventually lead to the powerful surrealism movement that overpowered the art world until World War II struck. With futurism came destruction of traditional art and art altogether, it followed Dada, which destroyed the concepts of art through contradictions of all together meanings. But without these damages the re-conceptualization of creativeness that surrealism showed the world would not have existed.


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