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Robert Rauschenberg, 1963, Retroactive II; combine painting with paint and photos. Robert Rauschenberg, Retroactive II, 1963 1 26 18 -mcachicago (38559559950).jpg
Robert Rauschenberg, 1963, Retroactive II; combine painting with paint and photos.

Neo-Dada was a movement with audio, visual and literary manifestations that had similarities in method or intent with earlier Dada artwork. It sought to close the gap between art and daily life, and was a combination of playfulness, iconoclasm, and appropriation. [1] In the United States the term was popularized by Barbara Rose in the 1960s and refers primarily, although not exclusively, to work created in that and the preceding decade. There was also an international dimension to the movement, particularly in Japan and in Europe, serving as the foundation of Fluxus, Pop Art and Nouveau réalisme. [2]


Neo-Dada has been exemplified by its use of modern materials, popular imagery, and absurdist contrast. It was a reaction to the personal emotionalism of Abstract Expressionism and, taking a lead from the practice of Marcel Duchamp and Kurt Schwitters, denied traditional concepts of aesthetics. [3]

Interest in Dada followed in the wake of documentary publications, such as Robert Motherwell's The Dada Painters and Poets (1951) [4] and German language publications from 1957 and later, to which some former Dadaists contributed. [5] However, several of the original Dadaists denounced the label Neo-Dada, especially in its U.S. manifestations, on the grounds that the work was derivative rather than making fresh discoveries; that aesthetic pleasure was found in what were originally protests against bourgeois aesthetic concepts; and because it pandered to commercialism. [6]

Many of the artists who identified with the trend subsequently moved on to other specialities or identified with different art movements and in many cases only certain aspects of their early work can be identified with it. For example, Piero Manzoni's Consacrazione dell'arte dell'uovo sodo (Artistic consecration of the hard-boiled egg, 1959), which he signed with an imprint of his thumb, or his cans of shit (1961) whose price was pegged to the value of their weight in gold, satirizing the concept of the artist's personal creation and art as commodity. [7]

A Jean Tingueley fountain in Basel Basel Fasnachtsbrunnen Jean Tinguely.JPG
A Jean Tingueley fountain in Basel

An allied approach is found in the creation of collage and assemblage, as in the junk sculptures of the American Richard Stankiewicz, whose works created from scrap have been compared with Schwitters' practice. These objects are "so treated that they become less discarded than found, objets trouvés." [8] Jean Tinguely's fantastic machines, notoriously the self-destructing Homage to New York (1960), were another approach to the subversion of the mechanical.

Although such techniques as collage and assemblage may have served as inspiration, different terms were found for the objects produced, both in the U.S. and in Europe. Robert Rauschenberg labeled as "combines" such works as "Bed" (1955), which consisted of a framed quilt and pillow covered in paint and mounted on the wall. Arman labeled as "accumulations" his collections of dice and bottle tops, and as "poubelles" the contents of trash-bins encased in plastic. Daniel Spoerri created "snare pictures" (tableaux piège), of which the earliest was "Kichka's Breakfast" (1960), and in which the remains of a meal were glued to the cloth and mounted on the table-top affixed to the wall. [9]


In the Netherlands the poets associated with the 'magazine for texts', Barbarber (1958–71), particularly J. Bernlef and K. Schippers, extended the concept of the readymade into poetry, discovering poetic suggestiveness in such everyday items as a newspaper advert about a lost tortoise and a typewriter test sheet. [10] Another group of Dutch poets infiltrated the Belgian experimentalist magazine Gard Sivik and began to fill it with seemingly inconsequential fragments of conversation and demonstrations of verbal procedures. The writers included C.B. Vaandrager, Hans Verhagen and the artist Armando. On this approach the critic Hugo Brems has commented that "the poet's role in this kind of poetry was not to discourse on reality, but to highlight particular fragments of it which are normally perceived as non-poetic. These poets were not creators of art, but discoverers." [11]

The impersonality that such artists aspired to was best expressed by Jan Schoonhoven (1914–94), the theorist of the Dutch Nul group of artists, to which Armando also belonged: "Zero is first and foremost a new conception of reality, in which the individual role of the artist is kept to a minimum. The Zero artist merely selects, isolates parts of reality (materials as well as ideas stemming from reality) and exhibits them in the most neutral way. The avoidance of personal feelings is essential to Zero." [12] This in turn links it with some aspects of Pop Art and Nouveau Réaliste practice and underlines the rejection of Expressionism.

The beginnings of Concrete Poetry and text montage in the Wiener Gruppe have also been referred back to the example of Raoul Hausmann's letter poems. [13] Such techniques may also owe something to H.N. Werkman's typographical experiments in the Netherlands which had first been put on display in the Stedelijk Museum in 1945.

Artists linked with the term

See also

Related Research Articles

Dada Avant-garde art movement in the early 20th century

Dada or Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century, with early centres in Zürich, Switzerland, at the Cabaret Voltaire. New York Dada began c. 1915, and after 1920 Dada flourished in Paris. Dadaist activities lasted until c. the mid 1920s.

Kurt Schwitters German artist (1887-1948)

Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters was a German artist who was born in Hanover, Germany.

Avant-garde Works that are experimental or innovative

The avant-garde are people or works that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox with respect to art, culture, or society. It is frequently characterized by aesthetic innovation and initial unacceptability.

Fluxus International network of artists, composers and designers

Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus is known for experimental contributions to different artistic media and disciplines and for generating new art forms. These art forms include intermedia, a term coined by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins; conceptual art, first developed by Henry Flynt, an artist contentiously associated with Fluxus; and video art, first pioneered by Nam June Paik and Wolf Vostell. Dutch gallerist and art critic Harry Ruhé describes Fluxus as "the most radical and experimental art movement of the sixties."

Pop art Art movement

Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the United Kingdom and the United States during the mid- to late-1950s. The movement presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular and mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane mass-produced objects. One of its aims is to use images of popular culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any culture, most often through the use of irony. It is also associated with the artists' use of mechanical means of reproduction or rendering techniques. In pop art, material is sometimes visually removed from its known context, isolated, or combined with unrelated material..

Postmodern art Art movement

Postmodern art is a body of art movements that sought to contradict some aspects of modernism or some aspects that emerged or developed in its aftermath. In general, movements such as intermedia, installation art, conceptual art and multimedia, particularly involving video are described as postmodern.

Raoul Hausmann

Raoul Hausmann was an Austrian artist and writer. One of the key figures in Berlin Dada, his experimental photographic collages, sound poetry, and institutional critiques would have a profound influence on the European Avant-Garde in the aftermath of World War I.

Nouveau réalisme

Nouveau réalisme refers to an artistic movement founded in 1960 by the art critic Pierre Restany and the painter Yves Klein during the first collective exposition in the Apollinaire gallery in Milan. Pierre Restany wrote the original manifesto for the group, titled the "Constitutive Declaration of New Realism," in April 1960, proclaiming, "Nouveau Réalisme—new ways of perceiving the real." This joint declaration was signed on 27 October 1960, in Yves Klein's workshop, by nine people: Yves Klein, Arman, Martial Raysse, Pierre Restany, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and the Ultra-Lettrists, Francois Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Jacques de la Villeglé; in 1961 these were joined by César, Mimmo Rotella, then Niki de Saint Phalle and Gérard Deschamps. The artist Christo showed with the group. It was dissolved in 1970.

Anti-art is a loosely used term applied to an array of concepts and attitudes that reject prior definitions of art and question art in general. Somewhat paradoxically, anti-art tends to conduct this questioning and rejection from the vantage point of art. The term is associated with the Dada movement and is generally accepted as attributable to Marcel Duchamp pre-World War I around 1914, when he began to use found objects as art. It was used to describe revolutionary forms of art. The term was used later by the Conceptual artists of the 1960s to describe the work of those who claimed to have retired altogether from the practice of art, from the production of works which could be sold.

This is an alphabetical index of articles about aesthetics.

20th-century French art Art in France during the 20th century

20th-century French art developed out of the Impressionism and Post-Impressionism that dominated French art at the end of the 19th century. The first half of the 20th century in France saw the even more revolutionary experiments of Cubism, Dada and Surrealism, artistic movements that would have a major impact on western, and eventually world, art. After World War II, while French artists explored such tendencies as Tachism, Fluxus and New realism, France's preeminence in the visual arts progressively became eclipsed by developments elsewhere.

Haptic poetry

Haptic poetry, like visual poetry and sound poetry, is a liminal art form combining characteristics of typography and sculpture to create objects not only to be seen, but to be touched and manipulated. Indeed, in haptic poetry, the sense of touch is equal to, if not more important than, the sense of sight, yet both text-based poetry and haptic poetry have the same goals: to create an aesthetic effect in the minds of the intended audience.

In the visual arts, late modernism encompasses the overall production of most recent art made between the aftermath of World War II and the early years of the 21st century. The terminology often points to similarities between late modernism and post-modernism although there are differences. The predominant term for art produced since the 1950s is contemporary art. Not all art labelled as contemporary art is modernist or post-modern, and the broader term encompasses both artists who continue to work in modern and late modernist traditions, as well as artists who reject modernism for post-modernism or other reasons. Arthur Danto argues explicitly in After the End of Art that contemporaneity was the broader term, and that postmodern objects represent a subsector of the contemporary movement which replaced modernity and modernism, while other notable critics: Hilton Kramer, Robert C. Morgan, Kirk Varnedoe, Jean-François Lyotard and others have argued that postmodern objects are at best relative to modernist works.

Dragan Aleksić

Dragan Aleksić was a Serbian Dadaist poet, author, journalist and filmmaker. He was the founder of the Yugoslavian branch of Dadaism, termed "Yugo-Dada".

Avant-garde art and American pop culture have had an intriguing relationship from the time of the art form's inception in America to the current day. The art form, which began in the early half of the nineteenth century in Europe, started to rise slowly in America under the guise of Dadaism in 1915. While originally formed under a group of artists in New York City who wanted to counter pop culture with their art, music, and literature the art form began to grow into prominence with American pop culture due to a variety of factors between the 1940s to the 1970s. However, from many factors that arose in the late 1970s, avant-garde began to both lessen in prominence and began to blend with the pop culture to the point in which most art critics considered the art form extinct.


Signalism represents an international neo-avant-garde literal and art movement. It gathered wider support base both in former Yugoslavia and the world in the late 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s.

Magazine Signal with the subtitle "International Review of Signalist Research" was the periodical of Signalism, international avant-garde creative movement. The magazine was founded in 1970 in Belgrade. Founder and editor-in-chief was Miroljub Todorović.

K. Schippers Dutch poet, prose writer and art critic

K. Schippers is a Dutch poet, prose writer and art critic. He was born in Amsterdam on 6 November 1936. Credited with having introduced the readymade as a poetic form, the whole of his work is dedicated to looking at everyday objects and events in a new way.

Neo-Dada Organizers was a Japanese Neo-Dadaist art group formed by Masunobu Yoshimura that was active from 1960 until 1963. Composed of around ten young painters and performers who met periodically at Yoshimura's atelier in Shinjuku, they "announced their radical stances through introducing destructive akushon (action) that deviates from any conventional form of art", and aimed to "shock the audience with impulsive, disturbing performances." They used the human body as their medium of art. Their violent performances were both based in artistic intentions and responded to the political climate the time.

<i>Dada Tank</i>

Dada Tank was a Yugoslav Dadaist single issue publication published in Zagreb in June 1922 and edited by Dragan Aleksić. Aleksić published Dada Tank as a response to Branko Ve Poljanski and his brother Ljubomir Micić's anti-Dada publication Dada-Jok from May 1922.


  1. Collins, Bradford R., 1942- (2012). Pop art : the independent group to Neo pop, 1952-90. London: Phaidon. ISBN   9780714862439. OCLC   805600556.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. Chilvers, Ian and John Glaves-Smith. A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art. Oxford University Press (2009), p. 503
  3. Craft, pp.10–11
  4. Karpel, Bernard (1989). The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology. ISBN   9780674185005. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  5. Brill, p.101
  6. Alan Young, Dada and After: Extremist Modernism and English Literature, Manchester University 1983, pp.201–3 Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine and Brill, pp.104–5
  7. Glancey, Jonathan (2007-06-13). "Merde d'artiste: not exactly what it says on the tin". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  8. Robert Goldwater in A Dictionary of Modern Sculpture, London 1962, pp.277–8
  9. Margherita d'Ayala-Valva, "Spoerri reads Rumohr", chapter 4 in The Taste of Art: Cooking, Food, and Counterculture in Contemporary Practices, University of Arkansas 2017, p.78
  10. Bertram Mourits, The Conceptual Poetic of K. Schippers: the aesthetic implications of literary readymades, Dutch Crossing 21.1, pp.119–34
  11. Hugo Brems, Contemporary Poetry of the Low Countries, Flemish Netherlands Foundation, 1995, p.20
  12. Translation in Dutch Interior: Postwar Poetry of the Netherlands and Flanders, Columbia University 1984, pp.36–7 Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine
  13. Anna Katharina Schaffner, "How the Letters Learned to Dance: on language dissection in Dadaist, Digital and Concrete Poetry", in Avant-garde/Neo-avant-garde, Amsterdam 2005, pp.149–165 Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine