Dada: Zurich, Berlin, Hanover, Cologne, New York, New York, Paris

Dada: Zurich, Berlin, Hanover, Cologne, New York, New York, Paris

by Leah Dickerman
     
 

Along with Russian Constructivism and Surrealism, Dada stands as one of the three most significant movements of the historical avant garde. Born in the heart of Europe in the midst of World War I, Dada displayed a raucous skepticism about accepted values. Its embrace of new materials, of collage and assemblage techniques, of the designation of manufactured objects

Overview

Along with Russian Constructivism and Surrealism, Dada stands as one of the three most significant movements of the historical avant garde. Born in the heart of Europe in the midst of World War I, Dada displayed a raucous skepticism about accepted values. Its embrace of new materials, of collage and assemblage techniques, of the designation of manufactured objects as art objects as well as its interest in performance, sound poetry and manifestos fundamentally shaped the terms of modern art practice and created an abiding legacy for postwar art. Yet, while the word Dada has common currency, few know much about Dada art itself. In contrast to other key avant-garde movements, there has never been a major American exhibition that explores Dada specifically in broad view. Dada—the catalogue to the exhibition on view in 2006 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and The Museum of Modern Art in New York presents the hybrid forms of Dada art through an examination of city centers where Dada emerged: Zurich, Berlin, Cologne, Hanover, New York and Paris. Covered here are works by some 40 artists made in the period from circa 1916, when the Cabaret Voltaire was founded in Zurich, to 1926, by which time most of the Dada groups had dispersed or significantly transformed. The city sections bring together painting, sculpture, photography, collage, photomontage, prints and graphic work.
Relying on dynamic design and vivid documentary images, Dada takes us through these six cities via topical essays and extensive plate sections; an illustrated chronology of the movement; witty chronicles of events in each city center; a selected bibliography; and biographies of each artist—accompanied by Dada-era photographs.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The disillusionment intellectuals experienced during World War I gave rise to Dada, one of the first artistic movements that questioned the fundamental assumptions forged during the Enlightenment. This opulently illustrated and cleanly designed exhibition catalog, published in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, accompanies an eponymous show traveling to Paris, New York, and Washington. Editor and contributor Dickerman (associate curator, modern & contemporary art, National Gallery of Art) examines Dada's historical development through the juxtaposition of the six titular cites from which the movement emerged. Six art historians provide brief essays on Dada's trajectory, carefully tracing the complex network of personal relationships and artistic strategies that gave Dada its unique character. And some 40 artists whose paintings, sculptures, photographs, collages, and other works date from 1916 to 1926 are profiled. The innovative, clearly reasoned scholarship, along with the hundreds of high-quality plates, make this an essential investment for any library collecting in art, cultural history, or modernism. It would complement more general texts, like Steve Edwards and Paul Wood's Art of the Avant-Gardes or Greil Marcus's now-classic Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century.-Katherine C. Adams, Yale Univ. Lib. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933045207
Publisher:
National Gallery of Art, Washington/D.A.P.
Publication date:
11/01/2005
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
8.82(w) x 11.92(h) x 1.65(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Kurt Schwitters was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1887. He studied at the Hanover School for Applied Arts and the Art Academy in Dresden. In 1911 he participated in his first exhibition. In 1919 the first pictures of his Merz were published, as was his poem An Anna Blume. Throughout the 20s, he devoted most of his energy to working on the Merzbau and Merz magazine, and also founded a successful advertising agency in 1924. Upon the Nazi defamation of his work in 1937, he emigrated to Norway, later continuing on to England, where he died in 1948. Five years earlier, an air raid over his home in Hanover had destroyed the original Merzbau.

Born in Philadelphia in 1890, Man Ray began his professional life as a painter before taking up photography in 1915. In Paris during the 1920s his career as a fashion photographer and portraitist took off, and it was there that he discovered the possibilities of cameraless photography. He continued to paint and take photographs both in the United States and Paris until his death in 1976. He has been the subject of major exhibitions at museums throughout the world, and is one of the best-known photographers of the twentieth century.

Leah Dickerman is Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Art.

Dorothea Dietrich is Chair of Academic Studies and Associate Professor of Art History at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington.

Brigid Doherty is Associate Professor of German and Art and Archaeology at Princeton University.

Sabine T. Kriebel is a Lecturer of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University College, Cork, Ireland.

Janine Mileaf is an Assistant Professor of ArtHistory at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA.

Michael R. Taylor is the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Matthew S. Witkovsky is Assistant Curator of Photographs, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

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