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Dadaism Research Papers

Dadaism research papers look at the art movement that began in the very early 20th Century. Art history research papers are custom written to focus on any artist or element of Dadaism you need focused on.

Dadaism was an international art movement that took place between 1915 and 1922. The artists were moved by the brutality and myriad of deaths that occurred during World War I. Indeed, these young artists must have felt an inexplicable sense of collective loss. It is no accident that their generation is called “the lost generation.”

The Dadaists thought the deaths and the war were meaningless, and therefore, they thought that the arts should portray the same meaningless. As a result, they picked the name of their movement randomly from a French dictionary. The page opened to the word “dada.”

The word “dada” means  “hobbyhorse” in French. The basic tenets of Dadaism included nonsense and randomness. It can also, in a sense, be termed as a sort on “non-art” or “anti-art.”


Up until this point, artists such as Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Henri Matisse, had largely been making pretty, colorful pictures. The Dadaists moved in utter rebellion. Their works, which were neutral in color (paralleling, perhaps, their pacifism), hard,  and distorted, could hardly be deemed as attractive to look at. But their purpose was to make a political statement and not to make art for people’s living rooms.

Even though this movement technically began in a Zurich café, Dadaism cropped up at about the same time in many different cities, including New York City and Berlin, among others.

Many aspects of the dada movement were similar across these three cities. Artists in each city believed in the same basic tenets, for example, and all held performances, exhibitions, and lectures. With respect to their crafts, all shared interests in primitive and tribal art, particularly in African art. All used similar subject matter including manipulated photographs, images depicting the coldness of machines, and found objects. However some discernible differences did exist.

Interestingly, Switzerland, where Dadaism began, is a neutral country. Paralleling this neutrality, all sorts of artists–not only painters–moved there to seek political exile. They included a mix of ethnicities: Alsatian painter and poet Jean Arp, German poet Richard Huelsenbeck and the Rumanian poet Tristan Tzara, to name a few.

One of the main characteristics of Zurich’s movement was the predominance of performance art–a sort of group effort across the arts. These different artists (poets, painters, actors, etc.) teamed up and did shocking performances and held feisty lectures. Like other Dadaists across the globe, the Zurich Dadaists also held many group exhibits showing the works of painters like the following:

  • Giorgio de Chirico
  • Max Ernst
  • Wassily Kandinsky
  • Paul Klee
  • Pablo Picasso

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