Dada (1916-1924)

  • The dada movement developed spontaneously as a literary after the poet Hugo Ball opened the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich



  • disgusted by bourgeois values and despair over World War I the many poets and artist converged to perform and shout in an unconventional manner.


Dada Poem (1917)
Hugo Ball

Sound and sight poems such as this expressed the Dadaist desire to replace man’s logical nonsense with an illogical nonsense.




The Fountain (1917)
Marcel Duchamp


When an object is removed from its usual context, we suddenly see it with fresh eyes and respond to its intrinsic visual properties.



Poster for the play
Party of the Bearded Heart
, (1923)
Ilya Zdanevitch

Vitality and legibility are achieved using typographic material from over forty fonts.




Dada magazine cover
The Bearded Heart, (1922)


Pages from Merz 11 (1924) (cover 01 | 02)
Kurt Schwitters

ds for Pelikan tusche and inks demonstrate Schwitters’s growing interest in constructivism during the 1920s.

(Merz issue #2)


Die Scheuche Marchen (The scarecrow Marches) (1922)
Kurt Schwitters



W W priimiitittii (1920)
Kurt Schwitters




Other Dada Typography 01



Other Dada Typography 02



Collage on paper


Untitled (estimated in the 20's)
Kurt Schwitters



Kurt Schwitters 01| 02



Photo collage and montage


  • Many of the earliest Dada montages were used as covers and illustrations for magazines and manifestos of the movement.

  • Their style was usually wildly anarchic, utilising many elements, some of which inevitably included photos of the Dada artists, juxtaposed with much apparently random newspaper text.



  • There will always be an argument over who invented the word "photomontage".

  • "Montage" in German means "fitting" or "assembly line"
  • five people of Dada montage,
    • John Heartfield
    • Hannah Höch
    • Johannes Baader
    • Raoul Hausmann
    • George Grosz

John Heartfield




Anti-Nazi propaganda Poster,
Adolph The Superman

John Heartfield

  • Heartfield went back to the old art of the emblem and used it politically

    (The emblem brings together an
    image and two different texts, an (often coded) title (inscriptio) and a lengthier explanation (subscriptio).
  • Example:
    Hitler speaks, the ribcage shows an esophagus consisting of coins.
    Inscription: "Adolf the Superman." Subscription: "swallows gold and spouts junk [literally tin]."


Other politcal works


Millions Stand Behind Me (1932)
John Heartfield



Poster attacking the press, (1930)
John Heartfield

A surreal head wrapped in newspaper appears over a headline:

"Whoever reads the bourgeois press turns deaf and blind. Away with these stupidity-causing bandages."



Cover for AIZ, (1934)
John Heartfield


Göring The Executioner (1933)
John Heartfield

Shells form a cathedral to symbolize the mentality of military expansion and the arms race. A swastika, dollar mark, and pound sign top the towers.  



John Heartfield


Hurrah, the Butter is All Gone! (1935)
John Heartfield

  • in response to Herman Goring's comment during the food shortages in Nazi Germany.

    Goring said:
    "Iron has always made a country strong, butter and lard only make people fat."

  • By picturing a family under the Nazi regime eating an iron bicycle, Heartfield satirizes and shows the foolishness of Goring's comment, and in general the Nazi regime's disregard for the basic needs of its people.



Hannah Höch




Da-dandy (1919)
Hannah Höch

Images and materials were recycled.




Cut with the kitchen knife (1919)
Hannah Höch


Others by Hannah Höch