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Discoveries: Dada: The Revolt of Art Paperback – April 1, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Dada is unquestionably "the Art of Revolt" as stated in the book's subtitle, most of all a revolt against the useless slaughter of World War One & the collapse of pre-war civilized Europe. To quote Jean Arp: "We were looking for an elementary type of art that we thought would save mankind from the raging madness of those times. We aspired to a new order that could re-establish the balance between heaven and hell. This art quickly became the object of general reprobation. It was hardly surprising that the 'bandits' could not understand us. Their puerile obsession with authoritarianism demands that even art should serve to stupefy mankind."
A statement, by the way, that remains equally true today, as the "civilized" world savagely tears at itself & those at the top divide the spoils, same as it ever was a century ago.
While Dada of course gave birth to Surrealism, with many Dadaists making the transition, there's a striking difference between the two movements. Surrealism was more in the Romantic vein -- something I dearly love -- and it sought to create new forms of beauty, to restore the wonder that the everyday world of power & money had lost. Dada was far more scathing & acerbic, sickened by the meaningless carnage of war, enraged by the eager acquiescence of the public to those who sent so many of their sons to die in the trenches. While my creative heart does belong to Surrealism, there's a burning place in it for Dada as well. This little book will explain to any reader why that is -- highly recommended!
Substantively, it had a lot of images (in full color on glossy paper, so that was nice), but it was very biographical of key DADA figures and didn't really discuss the artwork, etc. in depth.