Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ALEC: Dada movement

“Degenerate art” – Adolf Hitler

At around the same time World War one begun to unfold guerrilla groups of artists, designers, musicians and poets formed into small collectives around Europe and North America with the same common goal of cultural and intellectual non-conformity.

The Dada cultural movement was a social protest against middleclass nationalist and colonial ideals, which most Dadaist believed to be the root cause of the war. They sought to attack both art and social mannerisms that lend themselves to cultural and intellectual conformity. Dada sucked its influences from what it believed to be vapid and bland 20th Century art and twisted it into a form of anti art. For everything art stood for – Dada was to represent the opposite.

George Grosz was a Berlin born artist contributing greatly to the Dada movement. His tools of choice were pen and ink and occasionally ventured into water colours for larger pieces. He created illustrations with industrially sharp lines and raw textures which let him explore symmetry, angles and vanishing points. Although there are usually plenty of vectors leading the eye all over his works Grosz creates a strange feeling of harmony with the use of clever composition and colour choice. He also had a strange take on perspective - as objects weren’t always to scale – challenging peoples perceptions not only within the painting but also of art.

Grosz subject matter usually consisted of crude caricatures of corpulent businessmen, wounded soldiers, prostitutes, sex crimes and orgies. His works also portray a strange visual harmony which is ironic when considering his subject matter.

AS the war came to a close the Dada movement slowly dissolved into surrealism, social realism and modernism which then gave birth to post-modernism.



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