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A protest against the brutality of World War I and a rejection of traditional culture and aesthetics, the Dada movement proclaimed itself as anti-art. In the visual arts, literature, and graphic design, the Dadas shocked and scandalized audiences of the early 1900s with their expressions of disillusionment with politics and society. This select anthology reconstructs the movement's anarchic history and its harsh, vivid spirit by presenting the prose, poetry, and polemic of the artists themselves and their poet friends.
Focusing chiefly on visual artists, this collection ranges from Tristan Tzara's manifesto and Jean Arp's declaration of Dada principles to statements by Man Ray and Jean Cocteau. It features interviews with Hanna Höch and Marcel Duchamp, in addition to articles by Max Ernst, Richard Hülsenbeck, Marcel Janco, Hans Richter, George Grosz, and other prominent figures. Editor Lucy R. Lippard — a well-known feminist art critic, author, and theorist — provides brief biographies for each contributor. These absorbing and provocative insights into Dada philosophy illustrate the movement's enduring vitality and its continuing power to affect modern art.