- Series: World of Art
- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Reprint edition (May 17, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0500200394
- ISBN-13: 978-0500200391
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #765,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dada: Art and Anti-Art (World of Art) Paperback – May 17, 1997
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
About the Author
Hans Richter was well known both as a painter and film-maker. While in Zurich from 1916-20, he started the Dada movement with Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara and others. In 1940 he left Europe for the US and became an American citizen. His films include: Vormittagspuk, Dreams that Money Can Buy, Dadascope and 8 x 8, produced in collaboration with Arp, Calder, Duchamp, Ernst, Huelsenbeck, Man Ray and others. His paintings hang in galleries throughout the world, and he is the author of several books on the cinema and art.
Top customer reviews
This book is a wonderful combination of autobiography, art theory, on-the-scene reportage, gossip column, and investigative reconstruction of the life and times of dada from someone who there--or near-there, or in contact with someone who was.
Richter's account of dada has no doubt been a text that subsequent accounts have leaned on for facts. But Richter gives more than just the names, dates, and places--he conveys something of the spirit of dada, but does so with a certain critical detachment, the result of the passing of decades and his own orderly turn of mind.
He writes, too, of Breton and the surrealists, who co-opted much of the best of what dada had been, while imposing upon it an unfortunate hierarchy of superstructure and orthodoxy of viewpoint. In this, as in all else, Richter does an admirable job of trying to maintain his objectivity, but he doesn't--nor should he have--completely suppressed his own judgments, including his rather scathing view of pop art and neo-dada, so-called.
Generously illustrated (mostly in black-and-white), filled with lively anecdotes and vivid portrayals of memorable characters, such as Schwitters, this is quite simply a must-have book for those interested in dada. And the more interested you are in dada, the more you must have it.
Both dada and this book.
Hans Richter, a dadaist himself, was an eyewitness to the movement's creation in Zurich at the Cabaret Voltaire and he writes with the authority of an insider, conveying the excitement and tension of the moment but does little more than catalog the Dada moments, artifacts and personalities. The book does raise the question, was dada merely a protest against the atrocity of modern warfare or an actual movement? Richter delineates the various flare-ups of Dada culture in Zurich, Berlin, Hanover, Paris and New York but fails to answer that question. And I have others. Were there ideas that animated these artists? Did they cluster around a particular aspect of dada revolt? If dada was just a protest, how come dada lives on so powerful as a cultural idea, retreaded and re-packaged but never expanded or exceeded? Only towards the end does Richter attempt sum up dada and that is only because he wants to elevate it above pop art and the other neo-dada movements that emerged in the sixties when his book was published and dada had new relevance.
Still, there are great prints throughout the book and Mr. Richter knew many of the personalities that with a word or sentence he can summon to life in way no outsider could.
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