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Artists in 60 Seconds: Tristan Tzara


© 2006 Marcel Janco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, Photo: Philippe Migeat

Marcel Janco (Israeli, born Romania, 1895-1984). Untitled (Mask, Portrait of Tzara), 1919. Paper, board, burlap, ink, and gouache. 21 5/8 x 9 13/16 x 2 3/4 ". Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne-Centre de création industrielle, Paris

CNAC / MNAM / Dist. Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, NY

Movement, Style, School or Type of Art:

Dada > Surrealism

Date and Place of Birth:

April 16, 1896, Moinesti, Romania. (His birth name was Samuel Rosenstock.)


Tzara was an angry young writer when he arrived in Zurich during WWI and helped launch Dada. His nihilistic poems, recited from the stage of the Cabaret Voltaire, constitute some of the earliest Performance Art. His Dada Manifesto and intense personality hugely influenced Dadaists working in the visual arts. Tzara moved to France and, when Dada self-destructed in the early 1920s, lent his considerable talents to the emergent Surrealism movement. His mature works were of a more hopeful nature.

Important Works:

  • Dada Manifesto, 1918
  • 25 Poems, 1918
  • Seven Dada Manifestos, 1924
  • The Approximate Man, 1931
  • The Inner Face, 1953

Date and Place of Death:

December 24, 1963, Paris, France

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