Understanding the Emergence of Futurist, Suprematist, Dadaist and Surrealist Art

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Kathy Sandy

Destruction creates Construction
“We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched with a new form of beauty, the beauty of speed.” Martinetti The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism, 1908. The idea of futurism was brought on during World War I, the impact of the Industrial Revolution and the advancements of technology. Futurism broke out of traditional art and looked at art as pointless and nothing, this progressed into further movements of anti-art, Dada, Suprematism and Surrealism. These movements started and progressed throughout the interwar years and were influenced by politics and times of change in the world. The start of thinking of art as nothing came from the influence of the war and realizing that “art is not the most precious manifestation of life.” Tzara, 1924 (386). After the beginning years of futurism and Dada, the anti-art, evolved into art and it creating a statement, within itself. These modern movements and ways of thinking provoked attention to middle class these movements are described as avant-garde, the movements are about change, change within oneself and the change within the world. Throughout the interwar years starting with futurism European avant-garde movements tried to destroy art, but by the idea of art is nothing, nothing became art, this contradiction developed and is the reason in which these movements progressed over time. Without the destruction of art, the construction wouldn’t be possible, the progression throughout European avant-garde created the innovative movements. The modern ways of living and thinking were products of these advancements.

The invention of the machine sparked the futuristic movement and was influenced in modern works of art. The art works play with movement and the construction of machinery and technology. An example of this is in the painting “Nude Descending a Staircase” by Duchamp in 1912, shows the mechanical brushstrokes and the way in which it shows movement,...
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