A precursor to Surrealism, the Dada movement stressed the absurd and unpredictable, the illogical and chaotic, lashing out against traditional esthetics and upending artistic conventions. Emerging from the artistic and intellectual milieu of Zurich during World War I, it signaled a re-evaluation of arts cultural relevance in the shadow of industrialized war. Jean Arp, Tristan Tzara, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray were among the most famous proponents of Dada, creating works that dared viewers to expand their notions of what might be considered art. This book explains the impulses and theories that gave rise to Dada, the forerunner of conceptual art. Featured artists: Max Ernst, George Grosz, John Heartfield, Johannes Baader, Hannah Hoch, Raoul Hausmann, Kurt Schwitters, Johannes Theodor Baargeld, Hans Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Tristan Tzara, Man Ray.
Abstraction shook Western art to its core. In the early part of the 20th century, it refuted the reign of clear, indisputable forms and confronted audiences instead with vivid visual poems devoid of conventional representational imagery and characterized by allegories of emotion and sensation. This radical artistic adventure established new artistic means, as much as narratives. Expression became characterized by shocking juxtapositions of color, light, and line. Artists abandoned the conventions of brush and easel and played with new materials and methods of artistic gesture: commercial paints and housepainters brushes, working on unstretched and unprimed canvases, moving the canvas to the floor, and applying paint with hands. This essential introduction spans the international breadth, conceptual depth, and seismic impact of abstract art with a thorough survey not only of the big names such as Picasso, Klee, Kline, Rothko, and Pollock, but also lesser-known figures who made equally significant contributions, including Antoni Tapies, K. O. Gotz, Ad Reinhardt, and Sophie Taeuber-Arp.