Celebrating the centennial of the birth of Dada, this special exhibition brings together major works from the collection by modern artists including Jean (Hans) Arp, Marcel Duchamp, George Grosz, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Kurt Schwitters, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, and Beatrice Wood. In 1916 a group of young men and women from across Europe came together in Zurich and shook the foundations of the art world. Firmly pacifist and anti-hierarchical, these artists questioned established norms and academic traditions and created paintings, drawings, sculptures, and performance pieces that blurred the line between fine and applied arts. They sought to capture modern life by incorporating everyday objects such as newspapers, mechanical parts, and lightbulbs into their works, invoking the element of chance in the artistic process, and absorbing the imagery of popular culture and mass media. Dadaists challenged the concept of what constitutes a work of art and its aesthetic value, thus setting the stage for many later avant-garde movements, including Surrealism, Pop art, and Conceptual art. Drawing on the original Dada spirit, the exhibition is accompanied by a series of programs inspired by and in dialogue with the artworks, as well as an original design conceived in collaboration with Yale School of Art Graphic Design students.
Exhibition organized by Frauke V. Josenhans, the Horace W. Goldsmith Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Yale University Art Gallery. Made possible by the Société Anonyme Endowment Fund