Dadaism and Surrealism

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Dadaism and Surrealism Art Movements| | Barbara D Gentry| 11/13/2013| History of the art movements of Dada and Surrealism| The years between 1914 and 1918 were tumultuous ones. The world had broken out in a full scale war, beginning in Europe, with the assassination of the extremely disliked Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria Hungary, and his wife. The assassination was merely the catalyst to the mounting political tensions in Europe at that time. Many of Europe’s artists were horrified by slaughters being committed on a daily basis in the name of war and the social injustice they perceived, by the middle and upper class citizens. Furthermore, they were disgusted by the relentless quest to acquire more land and money by the various European nations. Many artists throughout Europe were forced to flee their home countries, fleeing to Zurich, Switzerland, which was neutral. It is believed that Dadaism began in Zurich, in a small tavern known as Cabaret Voltaire during 1916. Cabaret Voltaire was established by a German poet and his vocalist companion, Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings. In establishing the Cabaret Voltaire, Ball invited artists of all genres to converge and become acquainted. He encouraged them to use their art to express their outrage at the current political situation and the war. He attracted fellow artists Tristian Tzara and Marcel Janco from Romania; Richard Huelsenbeck from France and Jean Arp from Germany, as well as others. With the assembly of this very diverse group the idea of Dadaism was born. It was dreamt up as an “anti”-movement, rather than a movement. Tristan Tzara stated “The beginnings of Dada were not the beginnings of art, but of disgust.” (Documents of Dada and Surrealism: Dada and Surrealist Journals in the Mary Reynolds Collection) They felt that, having lost all confidence in their cultures, they needed
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