Rhymes (Research) – Part 2

Dadaism

Dadaism is an European literary and artistic movement formed in the early 20th century. It originated in Zurich, Switzerland. Dadaism was developed as a reaction to World War I, from several early avant-garde movements such as cubism, futurism, constructivism and expressionism in performance art, poetry, photography, sculpture, painting and collage. Dadaists was against authoritarianism and any form of leadership and guiding ideology. Dadaists embraced and opposed modernity as well. However, Dada art has no unified style as it varies widely. Dada artists put the aesthetics of their work secondary to the ideas conveyed. “For us, art is not an end in itself,” wrote Dada poet Hugo Ball, “but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.”

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Constructivism

Constructivism is the last modern art movement developed in Russia in the 20th Century, which flourished side by side Suprematism. They were the two major modern art movements formed during that time. Constructivism ideas were largely influenced by Cubism, Syprematism and Furturism. However, it was made to diminish the traditional artistic concerns with compositions, focusing on construction, function, and not meant to be aesthetically appealing in any form. It analyses materials and form, which led to the design of functional projects in architecture, interiors and fashion design, ceramics, typography and graphics.

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Rhymes (Research) – Part 1

Hannah Höch

Hannah Höch was a revolutionary artist and one of the leaders of photomontage and dada art in Germany after WWI. Her work gained recognition through mocking the rising fashion and advertising photography industry at that time. She was also a feminist and often addressed issues related to women’s liberation, politics, as well as gender equality. Hence, her work often featured women and same sex couples. She uses images from newspaper articles, fashion magazines, journals and catalogs to make her collages. One of her legendary newspaper collages is Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany, translated in English. The artwork was made to create a statement about life and art in the Dada movement during the transitional time in the German society. She made it clear that this artwork was made to address gender issues, with specifications such as kitchen knife and beer-belly. Looking into detail, Höch also leaves a clue at the bottom right of the piece; a map showing countries in Europe where women were treated as equals and were allowed to vote, which serves as a subtle reminder to viewers about these prominent issues.

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El Lissitzky

El Lissitzky was a Russian artist, designer, photographer, typographer, architect, and a teacher for most of his life. He was a prominent figure of the Russian Avant Garde and contributed to the growth of the art movement suprematism in 1915. He designed exhibition displays and propaganda work s for the Soviet Union. His work was largely inspired by Bauhaus and constuctivism movements and his experiments with production techniques and stylistic devices, that dominated 20th century graphic design. Marc Chagall, a fellow Jewish artist, sent a formal invitation to Lissitzky to return to Vitebsk to teach graphic design, printing and architecture at the newly formed People’s Art School and made propaganda posters. Togther with Kazimir Malevich, a painter and art theortorian, they explored impressionsim, primitivsm, and cubism and later on suprematism. Suprematism is the use of distinct, geometric forms in art. One of the most regconised work by Lissitzky is the 1919 propaganda poster “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge”, which represented the war in Russia. Military maps and its political symbols were used as references while Lissitzky developed suprematism a style of his own.

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