Thursday, July 30, 2015

Art Styles: Dadaism

Throughout time art has taken on many styles that have been born from political views (Dada), wars (Die Neue Sachlichkeit), new understanding of how the mind and the eye works (impressionism), and new inventions (futurism). The history of the Church was also very much reflected in the history of art.  Secularism has influenced Western art since the Classical period, while most art of the last 200 years has been produced without reference to religion and often with no particular ideology at all.

Art has often been influenced by politics of one kind or another, of the state, of the patron and of the artist. Dada was a literary and artistic movement born in Europe at a time when the horror of World War I was being played out in what amounted to citizens' front yards. Due to the war, a number of artists, writers and intellectuals, notably of French and German nationality, found themselves congregating in the refuge that neutral Zurich Switzerland offered. The movement was, among other things, a protest against the barbarism of the War and what Dadaists believed was an oppressive intellectual rigidity in both art and everyday society; its works were characterized by a deliberate irrationality and the rejection of the prevailing standards of art. It influenced later movements including Surrealism.

According to the Dada ideal, the movement would not be called "Dadaism," much less designated an art-movement. According to its proponents, Dada was not art; it was anti-art. For everything that art stood for, Dada was to represent the opposite. Where art was concerned with aesthetics, Dada ignored them. If art is to have at least an implicit or latent message, Dada strives to have no meaning--interpretation of Dada is dependent entirely on the viewer. If art is to appeal to sensibilities, Dada offends. Perhaps it is then ironic that Dada is an influential movement in Modern art. Dada became a commentary on art and the world, thus becoming art itself. With the order of the world destroyed by World War I, Dada was a way to express the confusion that was felt by many people as their world was turned upside down.

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