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does DADA know best?

Randomness & Chance within Mixed Media

What can we learn from DADAISM?... the subversive anti-art movement founded in Zurich 100 years ago... simple— lots!

Within the safety and order confines of the Swiss, artists had the ability to experiment. “Zurich was ‘A birdcage surrounded by roaring lions.’ This contradiction nourished Dada.” - Adrian Notz

The most notable artists within this movement were: Hans Richter, Francis Picabia, Max Ernst ( who also helped inspire the development of Abstract Expressionism through his association with Peggy Guggenheim), Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Hannah Hoch, Kurt Schwitters, Jean Arp, Hugo Ball, Man Ray, Tristan Tzara, and Marcel Duchamp.

“Every page must explode, whether through seriousness, profundity, turbulence, nausea, the new, the eternal, annihilating nonsense, enthusiasm for principles, or the way it is printed. Art must be unaesthetic in the extreme, useless and impossible to justify.”

-Francis Picabia

Embracing abstraction in his work, he used it to evoke strong feelings and mystery, and his influence on Pop Art which emerged and evolved in the post-war years is evident to this day.

Dada’s name may have been selected at random from a dictionary, chosen because it means hobbyhorse in French, or it could have been taken from a product…”Whatever the origins of the name, the movement’s mix of humor, satire and artistic bravura proved contagious. Its provocative tenets- taking the rebellious aspects of futurism and fauvism to extremes- were proclaimed in a Dadaist manifesto and, after the war, transmitted like a virus around the world by Dadaist artists…” Tony Perrottet, WSJ. Magazine

The rejection of art as a commodity can be traced to Dadaism as it redefined the idea of what art was. The limitations of art were lifted and the approach of revived Dadaism became another tool in the artists’ arsenal of visual vocabulary.

This art form was visible and continued to flourish in the ART works of Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and today, Cindy Sherman, and many other known and unrecognized artists... But lets not stop there...POP MUSIC benefited with its successor of punk rock - the Sex Pistol's provided shock value, David Bowie, the art rock singer and innovator, magician of reinvention and visual performance, an artist which exemplified his personal spirit, Lady Gaga has picked up where others have left off...Ok, so you you prefer reading LITERATURE, then how about Ulysses by James Joyce…and of course, CABARET, such as Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland where the first Dadaist performance took place on the night on February 5, 1916.

A number of traveling exhibits to commemorate the hundred year anniversary


“Dada Jubilee”, in Zurich, during February and March 2016,

Dadaglobe Reconstructed, on view at MoMA, June 12, 2016 - September 18, 2016

Everything is Dada, on view at Yale Art Museum, February 12, 2016 - July 3, 2016

Hit the books & learn more with my ongoing sketchbook workshop.

Stop in at any or all classes!

Details at the 'events' tab.


narrative of the medium

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