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?
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
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.
Kurt Schwitters was born in 1887 in Hanover, Germany. He was mainly associated with the Dada movement but he was also in the Constructivist and surrealist movements as well. Along with graphic design, he worked with paint, sculpture, poetry, collages and typography. In 1918, he was invited to exhibit his abstract paintings at Herwart Walden’s gallery in Berlin. There, he associated himself with the Berlin Dadaist but pretty soon was rejected by them and because of this, the term Merz was created.
“Merz” became an umbrella term for his dada-like art. It was kind of like his brand name for majority of his artworks, not only that, but he used it so often that he ended up referring to himself as “Kurt Merz Schwitters” or just “Merz. He was known for using papers found on the street to make art. He then used that art to make political statements. His works mirror his environment and activities in his daily life because he would use almost anything to create his collages with, even receipts, newspapers, etc. His works juxtaposed Abstraction and realism, Art and life.
Below, is one of Schwitters’ collages called En Morn (1947). This piece was made to be a poster and cover page of Tate’s Brittan exhibition. The collage is made up of different types of papers, newspapers, and magazines. The focal point of this image is the picture of the girl on the right side of the cover. Below her is an upside down picture of a man. These two pieces are surrounded by cutouts that are laid on top of one another. At the very bottom are words that run across from one side of the image to the next which read, “These are the things we are fighting for.”
Schwitters’ collage style spread through Europe and even the United States. He will be known for “Merz” because it influenced the graphic design works the most. The Merz images are known to be his greatest contribution to 20th century art. He also thrived in making the official typeface of Hanover, Futura. His style of work later inspired the works of many successful Dadaist artists.
Webster, Gwenda. “Kurt Schwitters.” Kurt Schwitters. N.p. 2011. Web. 21 Oct. 2016. < http://www.artchive.com/artchive/S/schwitters.html>