Comparing the Movements of Futurism and Dada

Futurism and Dadaism are two art movements of modern art. Both art movements were the first to seek change in art history.  Both movements show the way of thinking with new ideas on philosophy, morality, and art.  Artists from these movements produced strong and passionate art that shows individuality and the use of forms and structures. The most important reasons for these two movements is that they show the principles of freedom and revolt as well as the changes that are going on in the world.

Futurist used many ideas from the Cubists. The name “Futurism” was given by an Italian poem by the name of Filippo Tommaso Marinette in October 1908. Like Die Brucke, the Futurists aimed to create a new and peaceful era. Thee Futurists troubled for the destruction of museums, libraries, and culture. They were the speed of modern technology.  Futurist art mainly focuses on the motion of time and space.  An example of “motion of time and space” is Giacomo Balla “Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash” His art piece shows the dog in motion with its owner. Balla uses the effect of motion by repeating shapes of the dog’s tail and legs.  Another example of “motion of time and space” is Carlo Carra “Red Horseman” Carra shows the horse and its rider in an abstracted manner. The approach to portraying motion is similar to Duchamp’s “Nude Descending Down A Staircase” by showing parts of the body in multiple stages of movement.  A couple of months later in December 1908, “The Futurist Manifesto” were published. It gained most of its notary through its front-page publication of the Parisian magazine in February 1909. Last year, 2009 was the centennial year of Futurism’s founding and was celebrated in its birthplace of Italy.

Fortunato Depero, an artist who was best known for his contributions to the Futurism movement. His career made him Futurism’s common denominator. His masterpieces would not be in his paintings, but his architecture. It is because Depero’s Futurist vision is now ubiquitous. We are living in his reconstructed universe.

Futurism began as a literary movement, but soon spread through visual arts, cinema, music, theatre, and architecture.  An architect named Antonio Sant’Elia expressed his ideas in his drawings, such as the “La Citta’ Nuova”, but latter died n the First World War Many Futurist architects used Roam imperial/classical aesthetics patterns in their artworks. Futurist buildings were built in 1920-1940 including railway stations and public buildings. Futurist music ignored tradition and introduced experimental sounds. Francesco Balilla Pratella joined the Futurist movement in 1910 and wrote the Manifesto of Futurist Musician. Futurism was one of several 20th century movements in art music. Futurism as a literary movement made its official debut with F.T. Marinetti’s Manifesto of Futurism in 1909. Poetry was prominent in Futurism literature. Theater and film also has an important place within Futurism. Works in this genre have scenes that are few sentences long, have an emphasis on ridiculous humor, and attempt to shame the deep-rooted traditions via parody and other techniques.

Futurist played a role in the development of Dadaism. Dada movement began as a response to the carnage of World War I from 1916-1924. Dada is the reaction to what other saw as nothing and was part of the World War. Dadaism would become a major influence of art and artists of the remainder of the 20th century. Dada received its name, according to Richard Huelsenbeck, a German artist living in Zurich, when he and Hugo Ball came upon the word in a French-German dictionary. Ball noted that “Dada is ‘yes, yes’ in Rumanian, ‘rocking horse’ and ‘hobby horse’ in French.

Dada was independent in New York, but first emerged in Paris, Berlin, Cologne, and other cities. The founder of the Dada movement was Andre’ Breton and explained that Dada is a state of mind. The creation of Dada is traditional, does not have definite ideas, and is not right n or wrong. Dada is very influential and powerful by attacking convention and logic. Jean (Hans) Arp “Collage Arranged According to the Laws of Chance” is an example of “chance”. He shows the use of chance by compositing images together. He took some pieces of paper and tore them into roughly shaped squares, dropped them on a sheet of paper on the floor, and glues them how they were placed on the floor. Dada is often referred to as “nihilistic art” because it was often had conflicts with many contemporary values.

Several techniques in Dadaism were developed including: collage, photomontage, assemblage, and ready-mades. A collage is pasting of pieces of paper are put together into one composition. Photomontage is used by Berlin Dadaists who used scissors and glue rather than paintbrushes and paints to put together a work of art. Assemblage is a three-dimensional variation of a collage. Ready-mades were first used by Duchamp, which were objects already made and used in a work of art or composition.

Dada was not just in the visual and literary arts, but it influence reached into sound and music. Kurt Schwitters invented sound poems and composers such as, Erwin Schulhoff, Hans Heusser and Albert Savinio wrote Dada music. African and jazz music was common at Dada gatherings, signaling a return to nature and naive primitivism.

In-between the era of Dadaism, there was Neo-Dadaism, which is a step between abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Neo-Dada artists include, Francis Alÿs, Gabriel Orozco, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, just to mention a few. The “original” Dada rebellion against work is probably why Dada is narrated as adolescent, interstitial sidebars to art history’s master narrative. Neo-Dada’s ironic work imitation forms a set of running techniques for how to live as an artist in a critical way.

Both art movements were short lived, but had their influence during their lifetimes. Dada outlasted Futurism because it did not have that same weakness and it did not take too long before even the Dadaists themselves to dislike Dada because the art was always secondary to the emotion. Though Dadaism was from all over the world, Futurism reflected the energy and changes of the nineteenth century in its birthplace of Zurich from refugees of World War I.


Works Cited

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“Futurism.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 30 Mar. 2010. Web. 02 Apr. 2010. <;.

Keats, Jonathan. “REVOLUTIONARY ROAD.” Forbes (2009): 82-87. Academic Seach Elite. Web. 31 Mar. 2010.

Kleiner, Fred S., and Christin J. Mamiya. Gardner’s Art through the Ages. 12th ed. Vol. 2. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2005. Print.

Molesworth, Helen. “From Dada to Neo-Dada and Back Again.” 105 (2003): 177-81. Academic Search Elite. Web. 31 Mar. 2010.

Townsend, Christopher. “The Future of Futurism.” Art Monthly 329 (2009): 5-8. Print.

Trachtman, Paul. “Dada.” Smithsonian 37.2 (2006): 68-76. Print.

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