Loading...

ARTH209: 20th Century Art

Unit 5: Dada and Surrealism   This unit focuses on Dada and Surrealism during the period from 1917 to 1930. Like the artists associated with Suprematism and Constructivism in Russia and De Stijl in Holland, the artists associated with Dada and Surrealism were strongly influenced by the horrors of World War I as well as by earlier modernist artistic styles.

Like the Futurists, Dada artists enjoyed provoking their audiences, but Dada works often contained more obvious political critiques. Dada’s primary goal was to attack and subvert all the social norms and artistic conventions of modern bourgeois culture, a culture Dadaists blamed for the war’s devastation. Dada was more of an anti-art and anti-establishment philosophy rather than a cohesive aesthetic style. Its practitioners were active in Zurich, Paris, New York, Berlin, Cologne, and Hanover, and Dada had slightly different flavors in each city.

Surrealism arose in Paris in the early 1920s and included writers as well as painters, sculptors, and photographers. The Surrealists rejected bourgeois rationality and preferred the mysterious workings of the unconscious mind, such as dreams. They experimented with a number of automatic processes for creating art in order to escape cultural conventions and to tap into something they thought would be more authentic and primitive. Many of their works emphasize the bizarre or erotic aspects of reality.

Unit 5 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take approximately 11 hours.

☐    Subunit 5.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2: 8 hours

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - describe and identify the characteristics and technical principles of Dada art and Surrealism; - explain the artistic philosophies of Dada artists and Surrealists; - explain the political goals of Dadaists and Surrealists; - demonstrate knowledge of the main contributors to the development of Dada art and Surrealism; - explain the significance of Marcel Duchamp’s “readymades”; and - explain the significance of the use of nonart materials by Dada and Surrealist artists.

5.1 Dada   - Reading: The Art Story: “Dada” Link: The Art Story: “Dada” (HTML)

 Instructions: First, read this page as an introduction to Dada.
Then click on each of the images under “Analysis of Art Works” at
the top of the page and read the accompanying text.  

 Reading this essay should take approximately 1 hour and 15
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

5.1.1 Marcel Duchamp   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Nan Rosenthal’s “Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968)”

Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art
History: Nan Rosenthal’s [“Marcel Duchamp
(1887–1968)”](http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/duch/hd_duch.htm)
(HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this page. Then click on the images at the top
of the page and the images under “Related: Cited Works of Art or
Images” from the box on the left side of the page to see larger
views and to read more about these works.  
    
 Reading this essay should take approximately 1 hour.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: Philadelphia Museum of Art: *“The Bride Stripped by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)”* Link: Philadelphia Museum of Art: The Bride Stripped by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) (HTML and Flash)
     
    Instructions: Read this page. Then click on “2 Audio Stop 407” at the top of the page; click on “1 Audio Stop 407-2” to hear the rest of the audio discussion of this work.
     
    Reading the essay and listening to the recording should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker’s “Dada Duchamp and the Ready-Mades” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker’s “Dada Duchamp and the Ready-Mades” (Flash)
     
    Instructions: Watch this video, which discusses Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2), Bicycle Wheel, In Advance of a Broken Arm, and Fountain.
     
    Watching this video should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Khan Academy. 

5.2 Surrealism   - Reading: The Art Story: “Surrealism” Link: The Art Story: “Surrealism” (HTML)

 Instructions: First, read over this page as an introduction to
Surrealism. Then click on each of the images under “Analysis of Art
Works” at the top of the page and read the accompanying text.
Finally, click on “André Breton Page,” “Max Ernst Page,” “Salvador
Dalí Page,” “Alberto Giacometti Page,” Joan Miró Page,” René
Magritte Page,” and “Man Ray Page” on the right side of the webpage
and read about these Surrealists. Please remember to click on and
read about the art works on each of these artists’ pages.  
    
 Reading these essays should take approximately 4 hours and 30
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: University of Alabama: André Breton’s “First Surrealist Manifesto” Link: University of Alabama: André Breton’s “First Surrealist Manifesto” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please scroll down to the section headed “First Surrealist Manifesto (1924),” click on “a PDF-format version” and read up to the heading “Secrets of the Magical Surrealist Art.” Breton, like many of his contemporaries, thought that Western society’s overreliance on rationalism was one of the factors that led to the destruction of World War I. Like some of the artists associated with Suprematism, Constructivism, and De Stijl, Breton had utopian ideas about the function of art and the role of the artist in modern society. He, too, believed that art could have a direct and beneficial effect on everyday life. Note the importance Breton assigns to the imagination, the world of dreams, and unconscious thought. Think about how he defines Surrealism and what values he associates with this concept.
     
    Reading this essay should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker’s “Magritte’s ‘The Treachery of Images (Ceci n’est pas une pipe)’” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker’s “Magritte’s ‘The Treachery of Images (Ceci n’est pas une pipe)’” (Flash)
     
    Instructions: Watch this video, which discusses Henri Magritte’s The Treachery of Images (Ceci n’est pas une pipe). What points of similarity or difference do you find with Breton’s ideas in his “First Surrealist Manifesto?”
     
    Watching this video should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Khan Academy. 

  • Reading: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker’s “Dali’s ‘Metamorphosis of Narcissus’” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker’s “Dali’s ‘Metamorphosis of Narcissus’” (Flash)
     
    Instructions: First, read the short text on this page and then watch this video, which discusses Salvador Dalí’s Metamorphosis of Narcissus.
     
    Reading the essay and watching the video should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Khan Academy. 

  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “ARTH209 Unit 5 Quiz” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “ARTH209 Unit 5 Quiz” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Complete this assessment to gauge your understanding of the topics covered in this unit. The correct answers will be displayed when you click the “Submit” button.
     
    Completing the quiz, and reviewing if necessary, should take approximately 30 minutes.