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Dada: Zurich, Berlin, Hannover, Cologne, New York, Paris [Hardcover]

Leah Dickerman , Dorothea Dietrich , Brigid Doherty , Sabine Kriebel

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Book Description

Nov. 15 2005
Along with Russian Constructivism and Surrealism, Dada stands as one of the three most significant movements of the historical avant garde. Born in the heart of Europe in the midst of World War I, Dada displayed a raucous skepticism about accepted values. Its embrace of new materials, of collage and assemblage techniques, of the designation of manufactured objects as art objects as well as its interest in performance, sound poetry and manifestos fundamentally shaped the terms of modern art practice and created an abiding legacy for postwar art. Yet, while the word Dada has common currency, few know much about Dada art itself. In contrast to other key avant-garde movements, there has never been a major American exhibition that explores Dada specifically in broad view. Dada--the catalogue to the exhibition on view in 2006 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and The Museum of Modern Art in New York presents the hybrid forms of Dada art through an examination of city centers where Dada emerged: Zurich, Berlin, Cologne, Hanover, New York and Paris. Covered here are works by some 40 artists made in the period from circa 1916, when the Cabaret Voltaire was founded in Zurich, to 1926, by which time most of the Dada groups had dispersed or significantly transformed. The city sections bring together painting, sculpture, photography, collage, photomontage, prints and graphic work.
Relying on dynamic design and vivid documentary images, Dada takes us through these six cities via topical essays and extensive plate sections; an illustrated chronology of the movement; witty chronicles of events in each city center; a selected bibliography; and biographies of each artist--accompanied by Dada-era photographs.

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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the world turned upside down... March 1 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This catalogue illustrates and compliments the DaDa show in Paris, Washington DC, and New York. DaDa was a hugely influential avant-gardist art movement at the end of the 1910's and the beginning of the 1920's, reacting amongst other things to the shocking experience of WWI and the evident failure of conventional institutions. It's typically said that this movement was "anti-art" -- but this is not wholly the case. It is better described as a strategy, encompassing a messy fountain of creativity, some of it quite artful.

This work brings together a whole cast of characters and diverse approaches to what DaDa means or might have meant, and the show barely holds it together. This curatorial approach might actually be best for a movement as elusive and unconventional as DaDa, where tightly focused and carefully defined parameters for an "art movement" might be out of place. So the fact that the show's a bit of a mess is actually good news.

The book explores DaDa thematically city by city - a more reasonable grouping than artist by artist or chronological approaches. DaDa was an urban phenomena, a cacophony of performance that needed the bustle of city life to sustain it.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abundant DADA March 21 2006
By Robert H. Warner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A remarkable and concise history of the art movement DADA. Beautifully illustrated and designed...easy to manuveur between the cities where DADA was happening after the first world war. I would heartily suggest the purchase of this wonderous publication.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb July 5 2007
By H. H. Verveer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have always had a weakness for Dada, and within this quixotic movement a special liking for Schwitters. So I visited the Dada-exposition in the Paris Centre Pompidou last year, and there bought both the Dickerman catalogue of the American exposition, and the (French language) catalogue of the Centre Pompidou itself, which differ in many ways. The exposition was wonderful by the way, and one of the best I' ve seen in many years. Thinking that a morning would be enough to see what I wanted to see, I changed my mind, decided to take dinner in the Pompidou, and stayed for the rest of the day. The immense amount of material was stunning. And the same thing really goes for both impressive catalogues. The American (Dickerman) version (520 pages) follows Dada by way of the cities where Dada developed, and does so in a more or less chronological fashion. Essays are excellent, photomaterial looks great. It is the sort of catalogue you would expect from an exposition like this. The European catalogue, more than thousand pages, printed on very thin paper, treats subjects, artists, and everything else connected with Dada according to alfabet. It seems to me that the catalogue has just about everything that could be seen at the exposition, with exception of the films of course. Although I felt a bit silly after buying both catalogues (spending some 100 euros), I was in the end very glad that I did. Everybody who buys catalogues now and then, know how disappointing these sometimes are. Well, these aren't. They are both superb, knowledgeable. And the people who made them have done a terrific job. In the end you wind up thinking: Hey, these guys (and girls) must have loved Dada as much as I do.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dada: The Movement of Absurdity and its Profound Effect on Art April 12 2006
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
With the world wholly at war in WW I everything sane seemed challenged - to a few artists. These important minds gathered into a movement that at the time seem absurd - straying away from the expected paintings and drawings and sculpture that had become the norm for the definition of Art: names such as Tristan Tzara, Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber, Hans Richter, Hannah H?ch, Raoul Hausmann, George Grosz, John Heartfield, Kurt Schwitters, Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp challenged every aspect of the establishment and raucously boasted works consisting of photographs, collage, commonplace items such as the infamous urinal, performance, and poetry. The ultimate result of this at first dismissed movement (a movement which lasted only ten short years form 1916 to 1926) is now patently obvious in the manner in which art has been transformed in the post-Dada world.

This very fine catalogue for the both the National Gallery of Art in Washington and The Museum of Modern Art in New York wisely elects to divide the movement not into art forms but rather into the specific sites where history was changed. The divisions are by city: Z?rich, Berlin, Cologne, Hannover, New York, and Paris. Lavishly illustrated with the works of the forty artists included in the exhibition, the book is graced by superb writing with essays by Brigid Doherty, Sabine T. Kriebel, Dorothea Dietrich, Michael R. Taylor, Janine Mileaf and Matthew S. Witkovsky and one of the most sound introductions by Rusty Powell. The exhibition and catalogue are the results of curator and editor Leah Dickerman who deserves recognition for the finest book on the Dada movement in print! Highly recommended. Grady Harp, April 06
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RARE BOOK! Jan. 19 2009
By s c - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is not only great ART BOOK, and finally a more complete DADA compilation, is a HISTORY book too!
Read between the lines!

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