• An early 20th-century international movement in art, literature, music, and film, repudiating and mocking artistic and social conventions and emphasizing the illogical and absurd.

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Example Sentences

“I didn’t appreciate Dada art until I visited the Marcel Duchamp exhibition.”

“The Italian film festival had many Dada-inspired entries.”

“This form of absurd art got its start in France in the 1920s, but Dada still influences artists today.”

Word Origin

French, early 20th century

Why this word?

As an artistic movement, Dada (or Dadaism) took off in early 1920s Paris. This appreciation of nonsense, chaos, and the absurd is thought to be a rebound against the effects of World War I and a capitalist society. As technology was advancing, Dada spanned across many artistic mediums, including performance art. Some of the leading Dada artists were Marcel Duchamp, Hans Arp, and Man Ray. Duchamp, in particular, had a profound impact on the art world, leading into the surrealist art movement.

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