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Dada Exhibitions etc.

Ai Weiwei takes his place among the greats amid the opulence of Blenheim

Everyone in the world knows by now that Ai Weiwei is a man of courage, a devastatingly effective political artist and campaigner. His new exhibition at Blenheim Palace, seat of the dukes of Marlborough and one of Europe's great secular buildings, reveals that he also has a diabolical sense of humour. [...]

In truth, interventions by contemporary artists in stately homes, cathedrals and suchlike venerable venues are themselves not exactly new. What makes this so different and striking is that Ai – working from his studio in Beijing as he is unable to leave China due to the state's attentions – has orchestrated a full-scale retrospective in these archaic surroundings. Why did he do it? Spencer-Churchill can only guess why he accepted the invitation.

"I think the Churchill connection was very important for him," he suggests.

For this is the house where Winston Churchill was born. The part of the house where the great war leader came into the world is preserved as a shrine. Beside Churchill's purple velvet "siren suit" and slippers, Ai shows a decadent-looking vegetative creation. Above the bed in the room officially called Churchill's Birth Room, he has hung a profile of Marcel Duchamp made out of a wire coat hanger. [...]

Duchamp unleashed complete freedom in art. Is he then the Churchill of art? But the mood is one of mad laughter. Ai seems to be having some immense joke by showing his art so copiously in such ripely historic surrounding. Is he metaphorically giving the finger to Blenheim itself or, more likely, to us, we British? [...]

Ai Weiwei at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1 October -– 14 December 2014

Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, Friday 26 September 2014

Just How Influential Was Marcel Duchamp?

A hundred and one years after Duchamp assembled his Bicycle Wheel (1913), setting in motion what remains one of the most influential ideas in modern and contemporary art, a group of over 50 artists are celebrating the legacy of the readymade in the exhibition "What Marcel Duchamp Taught Me", which will open at The Fine Art Society in London next month.

Most of the participating artists—including Michael Craig-Martin, Susan Collis, Conrad Shawcross, and Martin Creed—will present artworks created specifically for the occasion and responding to the exhibition's title in a wide range of media including sculpture, painting, video, and performance. The exhibition also includes existing pieces by key artists from the 20th century, such as Joseph Kosuth, Richard Hamilton, and Man Ray, whose iconic portrait of Duchamp dressed in drag as Rrose Sélavy is to be prominently featured.

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Lorena Muñoz-Alonso, Monday, September 22, 2014

Rearranging Surreality: Dada and Surrealism in Budapest

Only a tiny number of books by André Breton have been translated into Hungarian so far (Nadja, Poisson soluble, Les champs magnétiques), and they had no real impact on Hungarian culture. Ironically, this fact can be proved also by the generous catalogue of the most important Surrealist overview to date in this country: Dada and Surrealism / Rearranged Reality. In the Hungarian text of the catalogue, Les champs magnétiques is translated as Mágneses terek several times, while the existing translation of the volume was published as A mágneses mezok. Breton is not a recurrent point of reference in Hungarian culture, although painters like Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst or René Magritte -– major presences also in this catalogue -— are of course well-known by the Hungarian public.

While the reception of Surrealism in Hungary still lacks precision and information, the representative exhibition of the National Gallery, organized in partnership with The Israel Museum of Jerusalem is a very important step in this direction, precisely because of its "introductory" character, that is to be felt in the selection of the exhibited works (in several cases no more than 2-3, but quite representative works by artists like, most importantly, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, also Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Hans Arp, André Masson, Roberto Matta, Victor Brauner, Wilfredo Lam, and with the participation of Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Delvaux, Leonora Carrington, Dorothea Tanning, Marcel Jean and others), but also in the keywords that are used for the arrangement of the exhibition. [more]

Dada and Surrealism. Magritte, Duchamp, Man Ray, Miró, Dalí
Hungarian National Gallery
Until 5 October 2014

Balázs Imre József in Szürrealizmus 09/24/2014

Time and space in a new unreality

The Hungarian National Gallery's "Dada and Surrealism. Magritte, Duchamp, Man Ray, Miró, Dalí" exhibition offers an extensive introduction to two of the main art movements of the beginning of the twentieth century. The objects and images of internationally prominent artists are accompanied by works showing the evolution of dada and surrealism in Hungary, adding a unique, national perspective.

The first part of the display focuses on the development of the movements worldwide, showing them in a chronological and thematic order. Throughout the rooms, lengthy descriptions help viewers to fully appreciate the significance in art history of the works they see, which may prove especially useful for the understanding of the abstract and revolutionary style of Dadaist artists, with whose work the exhibition begins.

Dada's aim, essentially, was to question accepted artistic norms and deconstruct traditions in the era after the First World War, which they saw as the final sign of the failure of bourgeois culture. They exploited the technological developments of their age, reflecting on new phenomena in radio, cinema and manufacturing in a humorous and experimental way.

German artist Kurt Schwitters' series on show, titled "Merz", is a prime example of this; his collages are made of cast-off bits of paper, including bus tickets and test prints.

Apart from other assemblages, collages and montages, the exhibition features many three-dimensional objects. Perhaps the most famous among these ready-mades is a 1964 copy of Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain", signed by the artist himself. The porcelain urinal was first submitted for an exhibition in 1917, causing a huge scandal and starting a debate about the place of the artist and his works in modern society.

Dada and Surrealism. Magritte, Duchamp, Man Ray, Miró, Dalí
Hungarian National Gallery
Buda Palace, Building A,
Szent György tér 2, District I
Until 5 October 2014
Tickets: HUF 2,400

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18. July 2014 - by Rozália Harsányi in Culture

Dada at the Isaacs Gallery

December 20, 1961 - January 9, 1962
Isaacs Gallery
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Read on if you are interested in what was happening in Canada over fifty years ago. Some of the people involved were Michel Sanouillet, Greg Curnoe, Michael Snow and Joyce Wieland.