Dadaism is a cultural style, literature style, and arts style. Dadaism was a protest against World War I, and it involved irrationality and nonconformity with established, art principles at the time that it began in 1916. The main artists in the Dadaism movement were Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp, George Grosz, Francis Pacabia, Man Ray and Christian Schad. Since these artists were the main personalities in the Dadaism movement, I will name them Dadas. If you like the work of these Dadas, you can designate one or all of them as your Dada.
Chicago’s Art Institute Museum has one of the most extensive, art collections among the world’s museums. (Only the British Museum and the Smithsonian are likely to have larger collections.) Dadas are in the Art Institute Museum.
Jean Arp produced Manicure-Relief in 1930. This is irrational art because I have never seen fingers this short, wide or gray. This is painted wood that measures 13 in. x 18 in. x 2¼ in. and it is on display in Gallery 398A.
Suzanne Duchamp was Marcel Duchamp’s, younger sister. She produced her Broken and Restored Multiplication from 1918-1919. Consisting of 2D disks, ellipses, text, bars, lines and two, many-rayed stars, this is an interesting composition. However, this artwork’s, unconventional quality must pertain to its lack of numbers (multiplication table, etc.). This is oil and silver paper on canvas that measures 61 cm x 50 cm. This is on display in Gallery 393A.
George Grosz’, Last Day is watercolor, gouache, gum and graphite on ivory wove paper. (How does one weave ivory?) I cannot make heads or tails of this print/drawing, but some misshapen heads and warped tails may be in this composition. This piece measures 700 mm by 525 mm. It is not on display.
Francis Picabia produced Edtaonisl (Ecclesiastic) in 1913. Edtaonisl is a nonsensical title; this word is neither English nor French nor Spanish. I do not see how this artwork pertains to religion (ecclesiastic). However, this artwork displays dynamic forms that imply movement. An oil-on-canvas painting, this piece measures 9 ft. 10¾ in. x 9 ft. 10¼ in., and is on display in Gallery 393A.
Man Ray produced Untitled in 1922. This is in the photography category as a gelatin silver print. From the album “Delicious Fields,” the forms on display must be some kind of plants. However, Man Ray probably merged recognizable plants with bits and pieces of other flora to produce these images, which are unconventional. This artwork measures 22.9 cm x 17.1 cm.
Chicago’s Art Institute Museum certainly has its share of Dadaism. These Dadas may not be “your cup of tea.” However, in the future, other Dadas may emerge.