The Dada Movement And Abstract Expressionism

The Dada Movement and Abstract Expressionism can be seen as similarly simple to many who perceive art with an untrained eye. However, regardless of simplicity, both movements were born when the world was in need of change. While one movement’s goal was to give creative and childlike playfulness to the world during World War I, another was born to give color and boldness to the world during World War II. Both movements inspired artists to take a fresh approach to interpreting their surroundings, expressing their thoughts and emotions, and creating aesthetically appealing pieces to the world around.

Dada, budding during World War I, refers to an international artistic movement that blossomed from the safety of neutral Switzerland. However, Dada was not so much an artistic style as it was a movement encouraging creative exploration and discussion on any given art or literary work. Abstract Expressionism was an artistic movement that followed a specific style. Rising out of the art world in the United States, Abstract Expressionism gave way to art works that were nonfigurative and nonrepresentational. One could even say the works of the movement were more about the action of the creator and the way the colors played into the appeal of the piece more than the meaning behind the work.

While many see art movements as a large group of artists coming together to create an appealing change or shift in the art world, many fail to notice that each movement is born from another idea. Furthermore, each movement is brought to light by an artist who is bold enough to share his take on what has been touched on before. One of the main contributors to the Dada Movement was Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp, a well-known Futurist artist, further pressed his humorous, some would say offensive, on the world. Duchamp’s Dada art became even more outrageous as he took an object, titled it and called it “ready-made.” These pieces caused a Duchamp to be partially outcast in the art world, during which time he turned to reproductions of classical artworks. His most famous Dada piece depicted a Mona Lisa with a curved, devil-like mustache and goatee. While he inspired cheery, yet unrefined, playful works of art, Abstract Expressionism was lead into the world by two men who felt that artwork didn’t need explaining, but was more about how someone felt personally when viewing it. Hans Hofmann and Josef Albers created what started a long, and ever changing, expressionism movement. Through geometrical shapes, bold colors, and lack of figure and representation, the artists brought forth the abstract idea that art does not need to have meaning. Hofmann, for example, believed that a piece of art was finished when it no longer needed anything from him, that it spoke to itself.