Cologne was under British occupation from 1918 to 1926, essentially just about as long as Dada lasted as a movement. In this International atmosphere of strictly imposed order and censorship, Max Ernst and company protested order, tradition and hierarchy by way of exploring a collective psyche. An awfully troubled post-war collective psyche, in fact, and one filled with "subconscious" imagery containing incongruous juxtapositions and references to amputated limbs. The Cologne section of Dada amply illustrates that Surrealism would later owe that city's Dada artists (and Ernst, in particular) quite an inspirational debt.
The first major museum exhibition in the United States to focus exclusively on the brief but hugely influential movement, Dada surveys the six principal cities in which its artists worked between 1916 and 1924. This exhibition represents nearly fifty artists in over 400 pieces including paintings, collage, photomontage, readymade constructions, photographs and printed matter.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York is the third and final venue for Dada, seen previously at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., from February 19 to May 14, 2006 and in its first, slightly variational form at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, from October 5, 2005 to January 9, 2006.
"Dada" is on view from June 18 through September 11, 2006 at the Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019-5497 (Telephone: 212.708.9400; Website). The museum is open Wednesdays through Mondays from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM; Fridays from 10:30 AM to 8:00 PM. It is closed on Tuesdays. Admission to MoMA is $20 for adults; $16 for seniors, 65 and over with I.D.; $12 for full-time students with current I.D.; and free for members and children ages 16 and under. Target Free Friday Nights occur from 4:00-8:00 PM.
Full Image Caption:
Max Ernst (French, born Germany, 1891-1976)
The Punching Ball or the Immortality of Buonarroti
(the punching ball ou l'immortalité de buonarroti)
or Max Ernst and Caesar Buonarroti
(max ernst et caesar buonarroti), 1920
Photomontage, gouache, and ink on photograph
6 15/16 x 4 1/2 in. (17.6 x 11.4 cm)
© Arnold Crane Collection, Chicago
© 2006 Max Ernst / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Photo © Michael Tropea