About Dadaists:

What Are Dadaists | About Dadaists Art

About Dadaism | About Who-Ha Dada

Who Are Dadaists

List of Dadaists | List of Dada Artists

Artists of Dada | Prominent Dada Artists


Here is a list of the pioneers of Dadaism who were the most active and prominent Dadaists –

  • Pierre Albert-Birot (1876 – 1967)
  • Guillaume Apollinaire (August 26, 1880 – November 9, 1918)
  • Louis Aragon (October 3, 1897 – December 24, 1982)
  • Jean Arp (September 16, 1886 – June 7, 1966)
  • Alice Bailly (February 25, 1872 - January 1 1938)
  • Johannes Baader (June 22, 1875 – January 15, 1955)
  • Johannes Theodor Baargeld (October 9, 1892 - August 16 or 17, 1927)
  • Hugo Ball (February 22, 1886 – September 14, 1927) - Hugo Ball was a German-born author, poet and artist who is credited with leading the Dada movement in Zurich. In 1916, Ball penned the Dada Manifesto, in which he claimed that he coined the term 'Dada' by randomly choosing the word from the dictionary.
  • André Breton (February 19, 1896 – September 28, 1966)André Breton, author of the 1924 Surrealist Manifesto, was an influential theorizer of both Dada and Surrealism. Born in France, he emigrated to New York during World War II, where he greatly influenced the Abstract Expressionists.
  • Gino Cantarelli
  • Arthur Cravan (May 22, 1887 - November 1918?)
  • Jean Crotti (April 24, 1878 – January 30, 1958)
  • Theo van Doesburg (August 30, 1883 – March 7, 1931)
  • Will Dockery
  • Marcel Duchamp (July 28, 1887 – October 2, 1968) - The French artist Marcel Duchamp was an instrumental figure in the avant-garde art worlds of Paris and New York. Moving through Dada, Surrealism, readymades, sculpture, and installation, his work involves conceptual play and an implicit attack on bourgeois art sensibilities.
  • Paul Éluard (December 14, 1895 – November 18, 1952)
  • Max Ernst (April 2, 1891 - April 1, 1976)
  • Julius Evola (May 19, 1898 – June 11, 1974)
  • Lyonel Feininger (July 17, 1871 – January 13, 1956)
  • Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (1874-1927)
  • George Grosz (July 26, 1893 – July 6, 1959)
  • Raoul Hausmann (July 12, 1886 – February 1, 1971)
  • John Heartfield (June 19, 1891 – April 26, 1968)
  • Emmy Hennings (February 17, 1885 – August 10, 1948)
  • Wieland Herzfelde (April 11, 1896 - November 23, 1988)
  • Hannah Höch (November 1, 1889 - May 31, 1978)
  • Richard Huelsenbeck (April 23, 1892 - April 30, 1974)
  • Marcel Janco (May 24, 1895 – April 21, 1984)
  • Tsuji Jun (October 4, 1884 – November 24, 1944)
  • Hans Leybold (April 2, 1892 - September 8, 1914)
  • FilippoTommaso Marinetti (December 22, 1876 – December 2, 1944)
  • Agnes Elizabeth Ernst Meyer (1887 - 1970)
  • PranasMorkūnas (October 9, 1900 - December 28, 1941)
  • Clément Pansaers (May 1, 1885, - October 31, 1922)
  • Francis Picabia (January 28, 1879 - November 30, 1953)
  • Man Ray (August 27, 1890 – November 18, 1976)
  • Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes June 19, 1884 - July 9, 1974)
  • Hans Richter (April 6, 1888 - February 1, 1976)
  • Kurt Schwitters (June 20, 1887 - January 8, 1948)
  • Rudolf Schlichter (December 6, 1890 – May 3, 1955)
  • Walter Serner (January 15, 1889 - 1942)
  • Philippe Soupault (August 2, 1897 – March 12, 1990)
  • Sophie Taeuber (January 19, 1889 - January 13, 1943)
  • Tristan Tzara (April 4 or 16, 1896 – December 25, 1963) - Tristan Tzara was a Romanian and French poet, playwright, and avant-garde performer who played a key role in early Zurich Dada. A proponent of pure automatic techniques, he had an at-times contentious relationship with the Dada's Surrealist direction in Paris.
  • Takahashi Shinkichi (January 28, 1901 - June 5, 1987)
  • Beatrice Wood (March 3, 1893 - March 12, 1998)
  • Marius de Zayas (March 13, 1880 - January 10, 1961)
  • Yi Sang (September 14, 1910 - April 17, 1937)
  • Yves Klein (April 28, 1928 - June 6, 1962) (see Neo-Dada)
  • Christian Schad (August 21, 1894 - February 25, 1982)
  • Viking Eggeling (October 21, 1880 – May 19, 1925)
  • Francis Picabia was a French artist who worked in Dada, Surrealist, and abstract modes, often employing language and mechanical imagery. He published the Dada journal 391 in Barcelona and America.
  • Man Ray was an American artist in Paris whose photograms, objects, drawings, and other works played an important role in Dada, Surrealism, modern photography, and avant-garde art at large
  • Hans Arp (also known as Jean Arp) was a German-French artist who incorporated chance, randomness, and organic forms into his sculptures, paintings, and collages. He was involved with Zurich Dada, Surrealism, and the Abstraction-Creation movement
  • Kurt Schwitters was a German multi-media artist who was particularly influential in the development of the Dada and Constructivist movements. By the 1920s, Schwitters was heavily involved in the international avant-garde, touring the world with artists like Hans Arp and Tristan Tzara. These travels earned him wide acclaim in the U.S. and scrutiny in his native Germany, which would soon come under the control of the Third Reich.
  • Hannah Hoch was a German-born Dada artist. She and Raoul Hausmann were among the first artists to work in photomontage. Hoch is most famous for her works dating from the Weimar years, most notably 1919's 'Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany,' which critiqued Weimar Germany.


weimar germany

Hans Arp and his wife are often attributed with creating the most important Dada Art.  Through a series of collages, Hans Arp created art by chance.  Standing he would drop small square different colored papers and drop them down onto a larger sheet.  Wherever the smaller squares landed he would glue them to the sheet provoking visceral reactions in art.  Hans was also interested in I-Ching coins that were apparently used to tell fortunes.  Arp was frustrated with geometrically correct art arrangements and labelled his Dada art as ‘anti-art”.

Check out some of the most popular dada art


Untitled (Squares Arranged according to the Laws of Chance) (1917)

hans arp

Artist: Hans Arp

These two pieces show the randomness of Hans Arp Art.  His collages were made purely on chance.

hans arp


Performing at Cabaret Voltaire (1916)

hugo ball

Artist: Hugo Ball

Wearing this costume he designed Hugo Ball performed his poem called ‘Karawane’.  The poem contained syllables that were nonsensical delivered with different emotions and rythmns creating an emotive work that could not be understood.  If words were used they would be stressed especially during vowel sequences.  Set below is a Hugo Ball poem –

Why not listen to some of Hugo Ball’s poems here….


The Gramineous Bicycle (1921)

Max Ernst

Artist: Max Ernst

Hans Arp also worked with Max Ernst and together they brought dada art and Dadaism to Paris.  Many people believe dada art had a great impact on future surrealism and cubism art works that would later outgrow the dada movement.  An early example of one of their works is the Gramineous Bicycle shown above which shows abstracted elements to create a whole piece.  Max Ernst’s art increasingly dealt with human body parts deconstructed to make a dream like visual image.  Plant drawings were deconstructed into biomorphic forms foreign to the piece.  Ernst collages originated in dada form but later he developed into Surrealistic works.


da da

The Role of Visual Art in Dada

Many Dada artists were not concerned with how their art looked or was perceived but more importantly to the ideas and emotions that their works evoked.  Art was not the end result that was desired but a means to illuminate and achieve a voice that would give true criticism to the times that we live in.  Dadaist loved and hated modernity and all that was involved in media and technologies that contemporary life defined.

Dadaists redefined the boundaries of what art could be using pure chance and unorthodox methods, means or even venues to produce provocatively spontaneous works often that were irreverent but sometimes even irrelevant.  Collages, games, theatre, performances, scissors, glue, photomontages anything could be used in dada art and nothing was taboo.  Dada art challenged the notion that an artist has to be trained or skilled to create relevant and irrelevant artworks.

Modern Day Dadaists

Who Are Practising Dadaists | Current Dadaists

New Generation of Dada Art | Dado Art In Modern Day


Dadaism is an interesting movement originating in the early 20th century as a response to the war and the rapid rise and influence of the bourgeois. With the expansion of the middle class over the upper and lower classes, society was beginning to look much alike. Working men and women were beginning to develop similar ideologies, ways of life, styles and increasingly similar ways of thinking and logic. It was these latter ideals that were concerning the Dadaists who believed that the bourgeois ideals of nationalism and colonial interests were responsible for the war. What makes Dadaism so intriguing is that the concept of Dadaism by its own nature and admission must also be against itself this would happen in the extreme corners of Dadaism (every movement has members of unfathomable fervour that dictate the extreme edges of the movement) where they were so intent on opposing all norms of bourgeois culture.

The movement began to become a seeming rejection of logic, government, nationalism, and colonial interests – whilst it has been described as a ‘spectacle of collective homocide’ (Kliener, 2006) its focus was on prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition. At it’s core though – Dadaism was simply a matter of rejecting common ways of thinking originating from the nationalist bourgeois. Where the bourgeois would develop an aesthetic interest, it was Dada’s intent to oppose that interest; if art was intended to appeal to the individual then Dada would subvert that ideal into an intention to offend. Dada attempted to ‘ignore’ aesthetics.

However, in doing so it produced a dichotomy of aesthetics which would inevitably develop its own flair and style. That can also be translated to adult toys – the very style of the toys from the wonderful creators of Divine Interventions is meant to offend in a cheeky way of mocking religion. They consist of fun and playful toys which include a baby Jesus butt plug, a bible Masturbator, a Buddha’s dildo and a jackhammer Jesus. These toys exist in a world where sex toys are meant to be separated from religion – this almost Dadaist ideal subverts that notion whereby it dismisses the traditional ways of thinking about religion and sex toys and unites them.

This inevitably creates a certain aesthetic style. It is therefore impossible to have no aesthetic appeal, or rather, create an object that is against aesthetic appeal because you must have something to appeal against – and in creating that contrast – you’ll find yourself back at square one. Rejecting the traditional aesthetic design of toys and understanding that the idea of sex and nature aren’t two concepts that need to be viciously separated – BMS Factory utilised the essence of nature and the sense of natural in their design of toys for the Leaf Series. Based on designs and elements found within nature these sex toys demonstrate how a rejection of the traditional ways of thinking can be utilised.

What Dadaism didn’t realize at the time through their attempted destruction of the standard ways of thinking was how much of a force of change they could be. In a way similar to the extreme Socialist Alternative of today’s political sphere, Dadaism had a goal; to see the destruction of ideologies based on the working class, government and the removal of nationalist thought. What Dadaism and the Socialist Alternative don’t have, is a plan for after that goal – and therein lays the reason why as to why neither movement could have, nor ever will succeed. Dadaism therefore can be likened to a failed attempt to deconstruct aesthetics in order to critique and argue against increasingly normal and standard ways of thinking.  Look at the people who can quite easily be argued to be modern day Dadaists;


Yoko Ono




Lady Gaga

lady gaga


All three of these individuals claim to be unique, claim to be outside the realm of definition and style – yet by that very nature they have created an aesthetic which is invariably them but also represents a resounding sense of logic and style that inevitably transcends to their fans and devotees. Their chaos is the very essence of their brand, that chaos is both at once chaotic but also predictable. It’s marketable and it has a force. Again, we can see how elements of Dadaism can be subverted, taken on board and used in a sense of good and to be a catalyst for change so long as it has a long term goal in mind. Madonna and her ways of thinking, paved roads of gold for feminist thought and Lady Gaga quickly became a champion for all those that were considered different or, as she affectionately calls them, ‘monsters’. By the very nature of loving or hating them they have created an unavoidable aesthetic. With that in mind when Dadaism states that it can ignore aesthetics – it simply cant. Any variation of the general ideal of modern aesthetics would simply become another facet of thought. At the core of Dadaism lies a simple fundamental thought – to combat traditional ways of thinking that arose from colonial and nationalist perspectives within the bourgeois. At the end of the day however, the middle class is what dictates the way the world works – the popular vote of governments, the primary spending power of the economy and the simple notion that collective thought is something that we as humans will never escape from.

The dadaism movement is gaining momentum again and is even found in hip hop, doll making and more.  The resurgence of the dada movement seems to have spiked after Nan June Paik had a musical exhibition showing her dada beliefs -


Dadaism in Modern Advertising

The weirdest development in modern-day advertising is dad advertising. A remarkable new school and concept of advertising has surfaced in the past 10 years.  Dada Ads blow all the accepted rules of advertising out of the water.  The Absurdist World of Dada Advertising.

Dadaists are often transfixed by the yin and yang of what is called the Dada Advertising by the great pharmaceutical companies. Dada advertising was legitimized in 1998 when Bob Dole—war hero, beloved senator and distinguished presidential candidate—starred in a TV commercial for Viagra, where he talked with jaw-dropping candor about his inability to get an erection.

The Greatest, Most Persuasive Line in the History of Advertising or copy anywhere was most likely not the product of a copywriter, but rather a case of accidental pure brilliance by a doctor or a lawyer. It absolutely dominates this commercial—and all other E.D. efforts (e.g., Cialis):

… seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours.

Can you think of any advertising ever where you are promised comfort and healing and then threatened with serious illness and death if you ingest the product?  This is pure Dadaism.