Top 10 – Dada Artists




2016 saw the 100 year anniversary of the first Dada performances at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland. So in reverence to this important moment in 20th century Art History, Artlyst brings you the Top 10 Dadaist Artists. The word Dada is said to mean either ‘hobby horse’ or possibly the exclamation ‘yes, yes’. The group of artists, writers, poets, performers that included Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Tristan Tzara, Jean Arp, Marcel Janco, Richard Huelsenbeck, Sophie Tauber and Hans Richter were expressing their negative reaction to the horrors of the Great War. This group of artistic anarchists challenged the social, political and cultural values of the time. After the war ended the movement spread to Berlin, Cologne and Hanover where artists such as Hannah Hoch and George Grosz took up the baton. Meanwhile, New York City had also become a refuge for writers and artists from the First World War where Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia and Man Ray became the radical centre of anti-art activities. The Dadaists used techniques such as automatism, chance, photo-montage and assemblage and challenged the boundaries of acceptable artworks. They were the first to introduce the concept that an artwork could be a temporary installation. Their influence is far reaching from Surrealism, through action painting, Pop Art, to installations and conceptual art. Marcel Duchamp famously declared, “Art doesn’t interest me. Only artists interest me.”


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