Tristan Tzara


Tristan Tzara by Man Ray

Dada was an artistic movement which started in Zurich, Switzerland. The movement was an after effect of WWI and prided itself on “anti-art”.  Tristan Tzara is an artist/poet from the Dada movement and is one of its founders. He was born in Romania in 1896 and died in Paris, France in 1963. His main goal during the movement was to spread Dada to wide audiences. He accomplished this by publishing manifestos, which were intended to shock its audience. He practiced his art and poetry publicly at a local cafe in Zurich; this included some performances in which he would speak vulgar and illegible language.


To make a Dadaist Poem by Tristan Tzara

“To make a Dadaist poem”, is a poem by Tristan Tzara and is possibly one of his most famous works. He published the poem in 1920. The goal of the piece was to inform audiences of the key concepts in Dada art, specifically Dada writings. The poem is literally directions on how to make a Dada poem. The fact that it is considered a poem is a direct reference to “anti-art”. How is this a poem if all he did was cut out pieces of paper to display directions? Tristan Tzara provoked this type of response. Furthermore, he was informing the viewer that anyone could write a poem (“a work of art”) with these simple steps.

Tristan Tzara should be remembered as a key artist during the Dada movement. He spread the movement and informed audiences through his writings. He was a great example of Dada artists goals and “anti-art”. He revealed a more clear understanding of what Dada was, a question on bourgeois society. He continues to provoke people to ask themselves, what is art? What boundaries determine a work of art and who is the artist?





Let’s Talk Raoul Hausmann

Image result for Raoul Hausmann

By the time the late 1800’s started to come to an end, new movements started to evolve for the art world. The Cubist and Dada movements featured many famous artists who made a mark in history. Raoul Hausmann is one man who was known throughout the Dada movement. His style of work helped influence many styles utilized today within our mainstream media. Hausmann was born in Vienna but in 1900 he relocated to Berlin with his parents. Painting was one of the first forms of art Hausmann learned due to his father being a painter. Raoul later began to do publications and poems for many different cultural magazines. This then led him to have Dadaist thinking as well as ideas. By 1918 Hausmann is in his full swing of the Dada movement when he participates in the first Dada soirées. From there is where Raoul developed his photomontage process.

With Hausmann’s development of photomontage it was a great tool he utilized to show satire and political protest within his work. One specific work Hausmann is known for is his ABCD self-portrait photomontage made in 1923. This work was made specifically to announce Hausmanns performance of a phonetic poem. At first glance the piece is all over the place. There are cut outs overlapping each other as well as the play on reality verses imagination. The information the artist wanted know is strategically placed throughout the work. In Raouls clenched teeth was a prototypical poem that said ABCD. Hausmann managed to also give the illusion of the tickets to the Kaiserjubilee in the hat created on his head.


Raoul Hausmann, ABCD, 1923

Image result for Raoul HausmannImage result for Raoul Hausmann

Raoul managed to take viewers into a transformed space when he created his photomontages. The way Hausmann broke the rules of traditional art was one of the key features to artists who produced work during the Dada movement. By the 1950’s the Dada movement attracted renewed interest by the United States. With the revival of the Dada movement, Hausmann began to correspond with many leading American artists. Raoul would discuss the Dada movement as well as the contemporary relevance. Today similar styles of photomontage like what Hausmann used can be seen in mainstream media. Designers may use this style of art in advertisements like nickelodeon used in some of their 90’s Ads.


“Raoul Hausmann, ‘The Art Critic’ 1919–20.” Tate. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.

“Raoul Hausmann Biography – Infos – Art Market.” Raoul Hausmann Biography – Infos – Art Market. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.

Vladimir Tatlin

Vladimir Tatlin was a Soviet painter and architect. He was the creator of the Russian Constructivism. He worked as a merchant sea cadet which allowed him to travel abroad. After his return from the sea he attended the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture for about 2 years. He was influenced by Pablo Picasso’s Cubist reliefs and Russian Futurism. He wanted his work to suit the Russian Communist revolution by blending art with a modern purpose.



Vladimir is most known for his piece Monument to the Third International (1919-20).  This piece has also been referred to as Tatlin’s Tower. This tower was a model for the headquarters of the International Communist movement. The tower stayed as model and was never actually built as a headquarters due to funding and other reasons. This piece is a three dimensional piece that is made out of wood, iron and glass. To Tatlin steel and glass were the most modern materials for construction as well as a reflection of the ideas of Constructivism. These materials reflected constructivism because they were simple, modern and everyday materials which were key to the Constructivism movement. The tower consists of a steel spiral frame which is 1,300 feet tall. This spiral represents the rising of the Russian Revolution as well as constructivism. The spiral start from the ground and steadily rises to the sky symbolizing the growth of Russian Revolution Communism.  Vladimir combined art and technology to create this revolutionary piece which many has said has a utopian vibe.


Vladimir Tatlin was a big inspiration for the arts. He was the creator of Constructivism. Constructivism was a new approach to making objects which abolished the traditional thinking of composition and replaced it with the construction. His works have been inspiration to many architectects and artists to use new forms of art.


Work Cited

“Vladimir Tatlin Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.

Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian, born in 1872 in the Netherlands, studied the fine arts of figure drawing and genre panting from an early age. As he progressed as an artist, his work began to exhibit influences of post-impressionism and pointillism, especially evident in his landscape compositions. However, a major turning point in Mondrian’s career came with his move to Paris in 1912, where he became intimately acquainted with the Analytic Cubist works of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. It was at this time when his style shifted from representational to modern abstraction. For a time, Mondrian adopted the Cubist reduction of images and its muted color palette; however, he soon challenged Cubist thought and sought to completely eliminate any sort of illusionistic depth from his paintings, highlighting the flatness of the canvas. This push towards complete reductive geometric abstraction ultimately culminated in the founding of the De Stijl movement with fellow compatriot Theo van Doesburg. The movement sought a universal style that erased all nationalistic identity, a response to the egotistic nationalism that De Stijl members believed fueled the conflict of the First World War. Mondrian referred to his own aesthetic as ‘Neo-Plasticism’, which rejected decorative excess and emotional complexity.


I fine example of this style is evident in Mondrian’s painting “Broadway Boogie-Woogie” created in 1942-43. This composition exemplifies Mondrian’s goal of revealing the harmony and order that exists in the natural world through abstract lines and shapes, distilling everything down to blocks of primary colors. At this time, Mondrian was living in New York City. The influence of the energetic metropolis can be seen in the intersecting yellow lines populated by brightly colored squares, reminiscent of bustling city streets. The asymmetry of the composition also alludes to the varied rhythm of urban life. Even while reflecting the vitality of New York City, Mondrian still highlights the inherent order and harmony that he believed underlies the universe through the orthogonal composition and simple palette of primary colors.

Mondrian’s work, as well as the utopian ideals of universal harmony promoted by the De Stijl movement had a lasting impact on the development of modern art. Mondrian’s simplified lines and austere color palette influenced both the Bauhaus aesthetic as well as the works of the Minimalists in the late 1960s. Mondrian’s paintings also permeated popular culture, as seen in the color-blocking design of Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Mondrian’ day dress.


Eskilson, Stephen. Graphic Design: A New History. 2nd ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012.

“Piet Mondrian Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story Modern Art Insight. The Art Story Foundation, n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2016.