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Dada: Zurich, Berlin, Hannover, Cologne, New York, Paris Paperback – March 1, 2008

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About 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 Art History 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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: National Gallery of Art, Washington/D.A.P. (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0894683136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0894683138
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8.5 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #630,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This catalogue illustrates and compliments the DaDa show in Paris, Washington DC, and New York. DaDa was a hugely influential avant-gardist art movement at the end of the 1910's and the beginning of the 1920's, reacting amongst other things to the shocking experience of WWI and the evident failure of conventional institutions. It's typically said that this movement was "anti-art" -- but this is not wholly the case. It is better described as a strategy, encompassing a messy fountain of creativity, some of it quite artful.

This work brings together a whole cast of characters and diverse approaches to what DaDa means or might have meant, and the show barely holds it together. This curatorial approach might actually be best for a movement as elusive and unconventional as DaDa, where tightly focused and carefully defined parameters for an "art movement" might be out of place. So the fact that the show's a bit of a mess is actually good news.

The book explores DaDa thematically city by city - a more reasonable grouping than artist by artist or chronological approaches. DaDa was an urban phenomena, a cacophony of performance that needed the bustle of city life to sustain it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Warner on March 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A remarkable and concise history of the art movement DADA. Beautifully illustrated and designed...easy to manuveur between the cities where DADA was happening after the first world war. I would heartily suggest the purchase of this wonderous publication.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H. H. Verveer on July 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have always had a weakness for Dada, and within this quixotic movement a special liking for Schwitters. So I visited the Dada-exposition in the Paris Centre Pompidou last year, and there bought both the Dickerman catalogue of the American exposition, and the (French language) catalogue of the Centre Pompidou itself, which differ in many ways. The exposition was wonderful by the way, and one of the best I' ve seen in many years. Thinking that a morning would be enough to see what I wanted to see, I changed my mind, decided to take dinner in the Pompidou, and stayed for the rest of the day. The immense amount of material was stunning. And the same thing really goes for both impressive catalogues. The American (Dickerman) version (520 pages) follows Dada by way of the cities where Dada developed, and does so in a more or less chronological fashion. Essays are excellent, photomaterial looks great. It is the sort of catalogue you would expect from an exposition like this. The European catalogue, more than thousand pages, printed on very thin paper, treats subjects, artists, and everything else connected with Dada according to alfabet. It seems to me that the catalogue has just about everything that could be seen at the exposition, with exception of the films of course. Although I felt a bit silly after buying both catalogues (spending some 100 euros), I was in the end very glad that I did. Everybody who buys catalogues now and then, know how disappointing these sometimes are. Well, these aren't. They are both superb, knowledgeable. And the people who made them have done a terrific job. In the end you wind up thinking: Hey, these guys (and girls) must have loved Dada as much as I do.
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Format: Hardcover
With the world wholly at war in WW I everything sane seemed challenged - to a few artists. These important minds gathered into a movement that at the time seem absurd - straying away from the expected paintings and drawings and sculpture that had become the norm for the definition of Art: names such as Tristan Tzara, Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber, Hans Richter, Hannah H?ch, Raoul Hausmann, George Grosz, John Heartfield, Kurt Schwitters, Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp challenged every aspect of the establishment and raucously boasted works consisting of photographs, collage, commonplace items such as the infamous urinal, performance, and poetry. The ultimate result of this at first dismissed movement (a movement which lasted only ten short years form 1916 to 1926) is now patently obvious in the manner in which art has been transformed in the post-Dada world.

This very fine catalogue for the both the National Gallery of Art in Washington and The Museum of Modern Art in New York wisely elects to divide the movement not into art forms but rather into the specific sites where history was changed. The divisions are by city: Z?rich, Berlin, Cologne, Hannover, New York, and Paris. Lavishly illustrated with the works of the forty artists included in the exhibition, the book is graced by superb writing with essays by Brigid Doherty, Sabine T. Kriebel, Dorothea Dietrich, Michael R. Taylor, Janine Mileaf and Matthew S. Witkovsky and one of the most sound introductions by Rusty Powell. The exhibition and catalogue are the results of curator and editor Leah Dickerman who deserves recognition for the finest book on the Dada movement in print! Highly recommended. Grady Harp, April 06
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James A. Woronow on September 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Coupled with Hans Richter's: "Dada, Art and Antiart" and movement's philosophy and works are clearly understood. Graphics are truly great and commentary enlighten. It might be noted this book is German published as the Max Ernst book "Life and Work". Both with numerous colored plates of the highest quality. The Dada book though excels in text.
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