Futurism And Dada Movements

Introduction

Understanding the difference between art movements entails remembering numerous things. This essay will focus on the time periods of expressionism, futurism and dada, and the general philosophy behind all these movements. The paper will also include some notable visual expression of each artwork so that the reader can visually understand each movement. After explaining the meaning of all the movements, the paper will highlight how the movements reacted to the industrial age. Next, the paper will highlight how the movements reacted to various constructs such as politics and war. Ultimately, the paper will evaluate the differences in the style and form of the movements.

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According to Whitford & Frank (1987), Expressionism emerged in the early 20th century when European artists (German and French) begun to shun impressionism. As the name suggests, proponents of this movement wanted to display urgent, bold and dramatic statements with their work (Villie & Dora 1970). As evidenced by the bolder, brighter and enigmatic painting style (see figure 1), the movement gave a less academic approach to their artistic work. Moreover, according to Spalding & Jeffrey (2000), expressionism shifted from the traditionally practiced academic way of rendering artwork, and this characteristic of the movement was highly valued by its enthusiasts such as Egon Schiele.

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The movement of futurism emerged in 1909 when F. T. Marinetti announced his Futurism manifesto in Milan Italy (Russell et al, 1969). Rohn & Matthew (1987) argue that at a glance, futurism seems to be an increased saturation and painting version of Cubism (see figure 1) which occurred in France at the same time that futurism was occurring in Italy. However, it is worth noting that proponents of both movements were quick to explain that the two were extremely separate movements (Potter & Jeffrey 1985). Nonetheless, according to Pollock et al (2007), the scope of futurism was wider and included various elements such as poetry, cinema, theatre, and cinema. Likewise, Plummer & Robin (2010) argue that futurism played a major role in influencing the dada movement which emerged later.

Global Railway versus Air

The Dada movement set precedence for the Surrealist movement and emerged in the periods of 1916-1921 (O’Connor & Francis, 2011). According to Moszynska & Anna (2010), the term ‘Dada’ denoted ‘nonsense’ and expressed the movement’s indulgence in negation and nonsensical things. While members of the movement were also writers, artists, and poets, a phenomenon peculiar to Dada is that it tended to embrace the opposite of various phenomena such as war, the bourgeois and art (Moszynska & Anna, 1990). Nonetheless, the work of Marcel Duchamp, a classically trained artist, typifies some of the most famous pieces of the dada movement, especially with his practice of re-contextualizing objects (see figure 3) to render them useless (McCarthy & David, 2000). Marter & Joan (2007) observe that Duchamp was also keen to question the academic standards of what humans should consider art.

Global Railway versus Air

The Dada movement set precedence for the Surrealist movement and emerged in the periods of 1916-1921 (O’Connor & Francis, 2011). According to Moszynska & Anna (2010), the term ‘Dada’ denoted ‘nonsense’ and expressed the movement’s indulgence in negation and nonsensical things. While members of the movement were also writers, artists, and poets, a phenomenon peculiar to Dada is that it tended to embrace the opposite of various phenomena such as war, the bourgeois and art (Moszynska & Anna, 1990). Nonetheless, the work of Marcel Duchamp, a classically trained artist, typifies some of the most famous pieces of the dada movement, especially with his practice of re-contextualizing objects (see figure 3) to render them useless (McCarthy & David, 2000). Marter & Joan (2007) observe that Duchamp was also keen to question the academic standards of what humans should consider art.

Global Railway versus Air

A comparison of the three movements reveals interesting differences that are worth noting. Ideally, the three movements reacted differently to the advent of the industrial age, and this is typified in the case of expressionism and futurism. Details emerge that both futurism and expressionism reacted differently to the European industrial revolution during the late 19th century (Mamiya & Christin, 1992). Whereas both movements emerged in the turn of the 19th century when different artistic vision and styles erupted in response to the major industrial changes in the society, both futurists and expressionists had different views and responses to the then occurring European industrial revolution (Livingstone & Marco, 2011).

According to Livingstone & Marco (1990), massive urbanization and new technological development altered some individual’s view of the world, and this triggered the expressionists to reflect their psychological turmoil by deviating from the realistic representation of what was going on and started to render emotionally and psychologically how these changes affected them. On the contrary, according to Kleeblatt et al (2008), the futurists embraced urban modernity and advanced technology – to destroy older forms of culture to highlight the beauty of modern life. Hence, while the expressionists used art to express their discontent with new technology, the futurists largely indulged in the art to express their love for change, speed, machines, and violence. According to The Art Story (2018a), a major characteristic of the futurists is that they were interested in new technology and popular media, and it explains their use of media to communicate their ideas.

In fact, the futurists’ love for machines and enthusiasm for modernity motivated them to celebrate the arrival of the First World War. All in all, The Art Story (2018a) & The Art Story (2018b) display the difference in the way both expressionist and the futurists reacted to technology and modern urbanization by quoting the words of Ernst Ludwig Kitchener, an

“…with faith in progress and in new generation of creators and spectators we call together all youth. As youth, we carry the future and want to create for ourselves freedom of life and of movement against the long-established older forces. Everyone who reproduces that which drives him to creation with directness and authenticity belongs to us…”

“…we want to fight ferociously against the fanatical, unconscious and snobbish religion of the past, which is nourished by the evil influence of museums. We rebel against the supine admiration of old canvases, old statues and old objects, and against the enthusiasm of all that is worm-eaten, dirty and corroded by time…”

Another major difference between various art movements is how they expressed their artistic works. According to Kleeblatt et al (2008), this difference is exemplified by the difference between the style and forms used by expressionists and that used by futurism to perform their artistic works. While the expressionists confronted the urban world through swirling, swaying, stretched body images and brushstrokes executed in an exaggerated manner to express the emotional turmoil that modern world had rendered unto humans, futurists used new technology and popular media to attract people and communicate their ideas (The Art Story, 2018a). Moreover, according to The Art Story (2018b) futurists expressed their emotional experience by rendering art to express how it came from within the artist, rather than a depiction of the external world, thus the quality of art was assessed based on the character of the artist’s feelings and not the artist’s composition. Contrariwise, futurists used various forms of technology to attract and entertain crowds while expressing their idealistic views. For instance, as highlighted by Livingstone & Marco, (2011), futurists used chrono-photography, a technology that allowed moving objects to be shown in a sequence of frames – this changed the way artwork was displayed and it attracted more audiences due to its pulsating attributed. Moreover, while the moving objects and artistic circles technique received hostility from many critics, many people expressed their love for the innovation that accompanied it.

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References

  • Kleeblatt, Norman L., Maurice Berger, and Debra B. Balken. Action/Abstraction: Pollock, De
  • Kleeblatt, Norman L., Maurice Berger, and Debra B. Balken. Action/Abstraction: Pollock, De
  • of The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 2008. Print.
  • Livingstone, Marco. Pop Art: A Continuing History. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1990. Print.
  • Livingstone, Marco. "Warhol, Andy." Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. Spring
  • Livingstone, Marco. "Warhol, Andy." Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. Spring
  • Mamiya, Christin J. Pop Art and Consumer Culture: American Super Market. Austin: University ofTexas, 1992. Print.
  • Marter, Joan M. Abstract Expressionism: The International Context. New Brunswick, NJ: RutgersUP, 2007. Print.
  • McCarthy, David. Pop Art. London: Tate Gallery, 2000. Print. Moszynska, Anna. Abstract Art. London: Thames and Hudson, 1990. Print.
  • Moszynska, Anna. "Abstract Art." Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. Fall 2010.
  • Pollock, Jackson, Herbert Matter, Ellen G. Landau, and Claude Cernuschi. Pollock Matters. [Chestnut Hill, MA]: McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, 2007. Print.
  • Potter, Jeffrey. To a Violent Grave: An Oral Biography of Jackson Pollock. New York: Putnam, 1985. Print.
  • Rohn, Matthew L. Visual Dynamics in Jackson Pollock's Abstractions. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research, 1987. Print.
  • Russell, John, and Suzi Gablik. Pop Art Redifined. New York-Washington: Frederick A. Praeger,
  • Spalding, Jeffrey J. ABC's of Pop Art: America, Britain, Canada, Major Artists and Their Legacy.
  • Tallahassee, FL: Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, 2000. Print.
  • Vallie, Dora. Abstract Art. Trans. Jonathan Griffin. New York: Orion, 1970. Print. Whitford, Frank. Understanding Abstract Art. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1987. Print.

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