Lesson 32: Dada Movement 

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What You Will Learn:

  • Explore All Art Movements and Periods

    You will learn about all the leading art movements and periods, such as primitive art, ancient Greek art, the Renaissance, Romanticism, Impressionism, Modernism, and contemporary art. There is also a lot of attention to non-Western art, such as Islamic Art, Hindu Art, Chinese Art, Oceanic Art and African Art, and the globalization of the art world.

  • All Famous Artists and Their Masterpieces

    The course covers important artists like Sultan Muhammad, Fan Kuan, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Utagawa Hiroshige, Vincent van Gogh, Ilya Repin, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Banksy and many more, and discusses their most influential works.

  • Cultural and Historical Context

    Our courses also focus on the study of the cultural, social, political, and economic contexts in which artworks are created.

  • Various Media and Techniques

    You will explore different art forms and techniques, such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and digital art.

Introduction to this course:


Before Dada was there, Dada was there.”          
             Hans Arp, one of the founders of the Dada movement

The Dada movement (1916-1924), an association of followers of the art movement called Dadaism, was an avant-garde movement consisting of young and progressive artists, including painters, sculptors, philosophers, writers, and poets. The term avant-garde referred to young artists who experimented with new forms and were at the forefront of creating innovative art. The anarchist Dadaists would not like it if they heard me talking about an art movement on this page. They sought creativity and their creative drive in absolute artistic freedom; essentially in chaos, chance, and their own imagination. They had no interest in organizations or movements. These artists looked down on reason, which they saw as a hindrance, and instead sought irrational elements in their artworks, often influenced by their anarchist beliefs. They rejected all forms of self-deception of the ruling class, as the members of the Dada movement called it. The versatile Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931), whose real name was Christian Emil Marie Küpper but who adopted his stepfather’s name, was one of them. It’s important to note that they lived during a time when a terrible world war was raging. The artists of the Dada movement used mixed forms of visual art, poetry, collages, assemblages, graphic designs, and theater in their artistic expressions. Their performances in bars and theaters with poems that had no meaning and consisted only of rhythmic sounds are famous. The influence of the Dada movement was significant for subsequent art movements, especially surrealism, which also placed great emphasis on absolute artistic freedom. Pop art, which emerged later, also has its roots in the Dada movement.

Constellatie volgens de wetten van het toeval, uit 1930 van Jean Arp. Het hangt in het Tate Modern in Londen
Image: Constellation According to the Laws of Chance, 1930, by Hans Arp. He Frenchified his name to Jean Arp because, as a deserter during World War I, he did not want to be reminded of his German past. Hans Arp looked down upon the rational thinking of humans, which he saw as a hindrance. He sought irrational applications in his artworks, fueled by his anarchist thinking. It’s no wonder that the title of this composition refers to “the laws of chance.”
Location: This painting by Hans Arp is housed in the Tate Modern Museum, a museum of modern and contemporary art located in the former Bankside Power Station on the south bank of the Thames in London, England.

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