The late 19th and early 20th century was one of greatest periods of technological advancement that the world had ever seen. The advent of flight, transportation by automobile, communication by electric phone, and development of cinematography and photography as an art form all progressed during this period. There was also great turmoil during this period. Old empires were decaying, nations were vying for supremacy, and revolutions were happening in Europe, Asia, and the America’s. This led many artists to the opinion that previous western forms of art were old, tired, and didn’t represent the period as aptly as one would expect.
Cubism, which was developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, was a style of art that ultimately defined the period. Instead of accurate or perfected images of humanity or the surreal of nature, cubism was a new form of the avant-garde genre. As fauvism splintered, Picasso and Braque, took the bold contrasting colors of that style/period and mixed them with many contrasting geometric shapes to create this new style of art. It was a way of expressing the tumultuous events, both good and bad, that were occurring during the period.
It was unlike anything that anyone had seen but much like any other transitional time, some critics were inspired while more traditional ones resisted. Dadaism: period, social conditions, and characteristics Following World War I, the world entered into another volatile phase. This period was filled with the grief of a world war, the shock of its brutality, and the collapse of many economies. Beyond the damage of industrial and commercial centers, of the nations which were turned into battle fields, were other sources of economic ruin.
The collapse of empires and nations and hyperinflation fueled economic turmoil, not just to the nations who were damaged, but nations that were oceans apart. In response to this turmoil, a new form of artistic expression came about. Dadaism was more than just an art form; it was more of a cultural movement. It started as a protest about World War One’s brutality and what was thought to have been a too much of unyielding artistic and societal intellects. Dadaism included artistic works that were visual, literal, theatrical, and graphic design (artinthepicture. com, 2013).
No matter what artistic form was used, the common themes of Dadaists were intentional irrationality and rejection of the common artistic standard of the time. Many times artists employed objet trouve (French for found art) of some common item that the artist felt had beauty. Such items as a urinal or toilet that are placed in a manner that is different than intended or designed so as to show a different point of view. Similarities between periods Just like everything else mankind devises, there are similarities between the Cubistic artists of the early 20th century and the Dadaists that immediately followed.
The first similarity is the times that they were formed. They were both formed during tumultuous times in world history. The Second similarity would be why Cubism and Dadaism was formed. They were both formed in response to the actions of the artistic status quo that was not responsive to, as some would say, not keeping up with the times. The last example that I’ll use to address similarity is that both art forms were quests at finding new ways of artistic expression that would address the times that the lived in. Differences between periods
Even more similar to the analogy I used to lead the preceding paragraph is the differences that separate everything that mankind devises. Although both periods were formed in periods of turmoil, it would be easy to argue that the Dadaists were formed largely to the brutalities of war. As opposed to the cubists, whose feelings of past art forms, not accurately representing the time period, gave rise to that style of artistic expression. Another stark difference is the forms of art themselves; Cubism was contrived as a means of expression as a 2 dimensional visual work.
Dadaism was a broader artistic movement in which the art was not only visual, but consisted of literal, theatrical and graphic design works. A final example of difference between the two periods is the size of the movement. While Cubism was a small movement from Fauvism, Dadaism was a cultural shift. Dadaism was a quasi-rebellion not only against the traditional norms of artwork, but against the traditional norms of the society at large. Purpose of continuing or deviating from an earlier art period
One of the most perplexing and subjective questions of mankind is the yearning to know the meaning of life. Although the purpose of continuing or deviating an earlier art period is not nearly as difficult to answer, it requires an answer to another question. What is the purpose of art? Art, in the rawest of context, is a form of communication or a visual language. In the visual language there are many dialects, just like there are many different dialects and forms of spoken language.
The dialects would be the different time periods and corresponding styles of artwork since the inception of the visual languages. Since the begging of art in prehistoric caves, art has sought to do many things. The purposes range from aiding in worship, heightening ones understanding of the spiritual world to works meant for the direct worship of deities. They also include storytelling, documenting, commenting on society, propaganda, the creation of beauty, and the conveying of emotions (citation, http://char. xa. cornell. edu/art/introart. htm).
With the purpose of art understood, so it is the same with our understanding of why works of art are either continuing or deviating from an earlier period. They’re languages, and people are free to use whatever form of language to present to an audience an idea or emotion that the artist views as important. Some languages are better than others when trying to convey ideas or emotions. Every time something is translated, there is a possibility that the meanings would be lost.
For that reason if you were trying to convey a message of distress, disorder, and the general imperfections of man and the chaos of humanity one might paint a picture similar to that of Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” (1937). In which the cubist artist records a historical event and coveys his emotions to that event. Maybe you feel like one of the early Dadaists. That’s society is out of date, or something is wrong with it, someone or a group is trying to force you to conform to a social norm that doesn’t appeal to you. What visual language would best suit your desires to point out the absurdity?
Just like the early Dadaists did, you could choose the art form which was created just for that specific purpose. Would your piece look similar to the “Fountain” by Marcel Duchamp (1917)? Relation between Guernica and Fountain The” Guernica” (Picasso, 1937) and the “Fountain” (Duchamp, 1917) have very few things in common with regards to style, period, messages, and methods. The things that are related go back to the basics of art and extend to the desires of the artist. First, they’re a visual language, expressing many different things through what they want to show to the viewer.
Second, they’re looking for an audience who will view their artwork and have that reaction of some sort. Third, they’re looking to convey an emotional reaction from the viewers of the art work. Lastly the artists largely don’t care what specific reactions they get from their audience so long as their audience understands the context in which the artist has created his/her work. The historical significance of Dadaism There has been a huge change of artistic and social thought that has taken place directly because of the Dadaism movement.
Before Dadaism, the social hierarchy of artists would determine whether or not something could be called art. Because of such, the true artistic value of some items would/could never be realized due to the objective definition imposed upon a word that has a purely subjective meaning. The saying of one man’s trash, easily defines the true nature of artistic beauty and value. Now, because of Dadaism, one man/s trash can be another man’s art. This is because Dadaism challenged the traditional critics and the art world’s status quo with is sarcastic view of tradition and social norms.
With its view on “nonsense” works of art, everything in the world, even the most meaningless creations could now be known as art. I would even go so far as to say that it opened the way up for modern rock and roll. If the social hierarchy was never removed and the status quo of social norms would have prevailed it could have conceivably have taken much longer to transition from each genre of musical art. It is in this sense that I would argue that Dadaism is probably the most influential social, cultural, artistic movement in the modern era.
January 9, 2018
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