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Dada (World of Art)

Art and Anti-Art

Hans Richter


As heard on BBC Radio 4's 'A Good Read’: 'One of the best and most consistently interesting documents on this extraordinary movement that has been published' Sunday Times


'Where and how Dada began is almost as difficult to determine as Homer's birthplace', writes Hans Richter, the artist and film-maker closely associated with this radical movement from its earliest days. Here, he records and traces Dada's history, from its inception in wartime Zurich, to its collapse in Paris in the 1920s when many of its members were to join the Surrealist movement, to its reappearance in the 1960s in movements such as Pop Art. This absorbing eyewitness narrative is enlivened by extensive use of Dada documents, illustrations and texts by fellow Dadaists. The complex personalities, relationships and contributions of, among others, Hugo Bali, Tristan Tzara, Picabia, Arp, Schwitters, Hausmann, Duchamp, Ernst and Man Ray, are vividly brought to life.

Over a hundred years on from the riotous inception of Dada at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich in 1916, art historian Michael White provides a new introduction and commentary to a book that has become a legend in its own right, influencing a generation of performers and artists since its first publication in 1965 - David Bowie even quoted from Dada: Art and Anti-Art in his Scary Monsters album. Michael White has unearthed Richter's private correspondence with his fellow Dada artists to tell the story of how the book came about and, using previously unseen archive sources, enables us to read between the lines and discover the truth behind this most elusive of art movements.

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'A first-rate history, objective and sober'
The Times

'Hans Richter is the ideal chronicler'

'Such a historical work inevitably becomes a piece of art in its own right and this re-publication includes an extensive introduction and commentary … that allows it to be appreciated by a whole new audience'
Art Book Review

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 21.0 x 15.0 cm

Extent: 376 pp

Publication date: 20 October 2016

ISBN: 9780500204313

About the Author

Hans Richter (1888 –1976) was well known both as a painter and as a filmmaker. While in Zurich from 1916 to 1920, he started the Dada movement with Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara and others. In 1940 he left Europe for the US and became an American citizen. His films include Vormittagsspuk, Dreams that Money Can Buy, Dadascope and 8 x 8, produced in collaboration with Arp, Calder, Duchamp, Ernst, Huelsenbeck, Man Ray and others. His paintings hang in galleries around the world, and he is the author of several books on cinema and art.

Michael White is Professor of History of Art at York University and works chiefly on the interwar avant-gardes. He is the author of Generation Dada: The Berlin Avant-Garde and the First World War , co-author of The story of de stijl: Mondrian to van Doesburg and co-editor of Virgin Microbe: Essays on Dada.

List of Contributors

Michael White

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