Dada: Zurich, Berlin, Hanover, Cologne, New York, Paris

Dada is my favorite movement in art. So much so that a few years ago, when MoMA was having their huge exhibition of it (that it this book is actually a catalog for) I made a pilgrimage of sorts to New York to see it. That’s six hours by bus from Cape Cod, after almost two on a boat. Not only that, but I convinced my friend from Pennsylvania to come meet me in the city. We spent ALL day in the museum, completely startstruck by the works of art we had admired in class for so long.

And yet, somehow I had made it until Christmas of this year without any book on Dada beyond the sections in art history survey books. (Despite thinking about wanting one every time I went to a bookstore since then.) My boyfriend mentioned this to his brother and sister-in-law who gave me this amazing tome.

The photographs – both of the art and the artists – are so beautiful and there is SO much information about the movement and its various players. In the back there are short biographies of all of the artists (and writers and associated people) as well as intensely detailed time lines comparing the movement in the different (major) locations. As of yet, this is most of what I have read, although I plan to read it cover to cover. I was especially impressed with the full biographies of various female artists who were never mentioned, even in passing, in my regular art history classes and barely touched on in my Women In Art class. (Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, for example.)

Anyway, this book is really, really complete for the major centers of Dada and absolutely one you should check out. As I mentioned before, it is the catalog for the New York (and Paris and DC) exhibition, which just so happens to be the most complete showing of Dada works since they were actually making them. It is a most welcome addition to my library.