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Dadaism and Surrealism

Western Governors University

Dadaism and Surrealism
The Dadaism art movement is part of history now. The movement began in Zurich and New York around the time of the First World War. ("Dada," n.d.) Dadaism was aimed at the artists who felt art created spiritual values. There was a focus on the failure of this by the endless days of war, the art of previous era’s had done nothing to create spiritual values in the followers mind. Dada was a protest against what they felt was the root cause of war. Dada was an “anti-art” according to Hans Richter, one of the founders of this movement. Dada was used to offend people; it ignored aesthetics and was generally preposterous in form. Many of the art displays were made of different mediums such as urinals, garbage, bus tickets, even snow shovels. One of the more known pieces from the Dadaism period is from Marcel Duchamp “Fountain” in 1917 it was simply a urinal. This shows us that with Dadaism they were able to create art even from objects that would normally not be considered art. Surrealism as an art movement officially started in 1924. In 1924 The Surrealist Manifesto written by Andre Breton was published. Many of the artistic pieces of this era are dream like. Some type of art to wonder and marvel at, not an art of reason. ("Dada," n.d.) Surrealism is thought to have been formed as a reaction to Dadaism art movement, which was a protest of the carnages of World War 1. Surrealism was more focused on the positive outcomes of change happening in the world at that time. The common themes that can be seen in many of the paintings are the dreamy imagery that has an exaggerated analysis of reality. This is thought to produce a more truthful interpretation of what the mind may have experienced through dream. Salvador Dali used a technique which was coined ‘critical paranoia’ ("Dada," n.d.) The technique is very visible in his painting “The Persistence of Memory”, it has a dreamy look to it...