Marcel Duchamp | Dada-Modern Art
Dadaism was an art movement that was developed in the early 20th century in different places such as Zurich, Switzerland, Berlin and several other locations. This group often spoke on politics, culture and social issues. The origins of the movement is said to be a response to World War 1. Dadaism was also known to be anti-art, anti-war, anti-bourgeois and colonialist (which they believe were the reasons for the war). Dada activities include protest, gathering publications of art and literary journals. The movement was well known for ignoring the traditional means of art and aesthetics hence, they were referred to as anti-art. Ironically, many of the known associates of this movement were poets and artist, which includes Emmy Henning’s, Tristan Tzara, and Hugo Ball and most notably Marcel Duchamp.
Marcel Duchamp was a French American artist whose work is closely associated with Dada and conceptual art. He along with Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Paul Cezanne are known for their contributions to the development of Modern art. As an artist that created “anti art” art—works that protest against other art—he abandoned the ideal aesthetics, and traditional means of what is considered to be art. He also created art that was conceptual and fed the mind in a very unique and sometimes illogical way. He believed “art should be a expression of the mind rather than the eyes” (theartstory.org). For these reasons Duchamp became known as the “founding father” for influencing the Minimalist and Conceptual artist alike. This later translated to Modern Art and its central ideas.
Like Duchamp approach on art, Modern artist tries to establish themselves as free thinkers. They often try to go beyond what is considered to be the acceptable forms of “high art”. Many modern artists did works that is considered to be controversial, vulgar and aesthetically unpleasant. In a more generalized sense modern art is an evolving set of idea for artist who tried to develop new approaches to art making. This was the main idea of Duchamp’s work as well. He had a different approach, he pushed the boundaries of what is art, and he did not care about how it looked because he was more into what his work did to the mind rather than the eyes. In many cases, to this day, we still have artist that create anti art, and art that protest injustice in the government (Banksy) and society (Ai Wei Wei), hence I would say Duchamp’s influence have expanded well beyond just modern art.