Dada Surrealism is a Response to War

Dada was an Art movement with its peak in 1916-1920s. This movement was established as a position against the War, and particularly World War I. Artists of this period saw all the negativity and horrors of the war. They also rebelled against the art that predominated thier time. It was a protest against beauty, because art didn't save civilization from wars. The members of that movement organized demonstrations, propagandas, and wrote brochures and manifestos against the cruelty of war. They drew from ideas of Arthur Rimbaund in poetry, and the critical ideas of Max Jacob (who later died in the Nazi concentration camp) and Guillaume Apollinaire. They established the new journal where they wrote anti-war and anti-terror articles, sometimes by using satire. Also the group made different absurd theatrical performances highly criticizing the first World War in Cabaret Voltaire . Tzara, one of the leaders of that group, wrote a lot of articles to different European newspapers trying to point out the tragedy of war. As with the Dada movement, Surrealism was also a reaction to World War I . One of the predominant facts for both movements to create something irrational and surreal. Surrealism inherited a pessimistic and revolutionary mood because of Dada movement . Dada's main artistic idea was to explore various activities and theories, instead of producing actual representational art. The followers of Dada came up with the ideas of irrationality and accidentalness. The 'Law of Chances' created by both Jean Arp and Marcel Duchamp found the artists throwing pieces of paper on the floor and gluing it to the background medium where it fell. Dadaists were very experimental and broke all manner of artistic order and conventions that were established by the masters in art before them. Surrealism inherited ideas from Dada about an anti-consciousness, anti-controlled way of thinking in the process of creating pictures. They preferred to focus on the subconscious mind and feelings. They believed in the power of dreaming (Dali), in intuitive associations, and in the idea of chances (Ernst). Some Dadaist Surrealists used a lot of ideas that most would find absurd and illogical. Dada was a precursor of Surrealism partly due to the fact that some Dadaist artists and poets became Surrealists in their future artistic careers. Examples include painter Max Ernst, the photographer May Ray, and the poet Tristan Tzara. 'Invasion of the Night' is one of the most well- known pictures by Roberto Matta. He was one of the members of the Surrealist group. This rather large (96.5 x 152.7 cm) oil painting was made in 1940, when the artist moved to New York from Paris. Invasion of the Night was made in the biomorphic or abstract Surrealistic style. The use of organic shapes, the absence of strong contrast lines, and a warm palette choice all create the illusion of a dream state. The composition is very unique: it is visually reminiscent of a chessboard. It is not made by lines, but by the smooth transitions of the main two yellow forms in background, and two main blue- greenish forms painted as chess squares. The painting invokes an eerie fear because of the luminous saffron color with white spots in between, and the half-divided horizontal lines causes the canvas to appear as though it has holes in it. Despite the dark connotations, this masterpiece is undeniably amazing. Dada and Surrealism immerse themselves fully in darkness and the unknown, and the genre that eventually took shape has an enduring following of admirers.


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