COLLECTION / 1900-1945 / Europa and Unites States of America / Dada

In early 1916, Europe was in the midst of the First World War. Artists, refugees, the exiled and deserters fleeing the conflict found refuge in the neutral country that was Switzerland. Against this backdrop, a group of creators, who put on daily performances at the Cabaret Voltaire, a small nightclub in the city, began to form. Thus began Dada and Dadaism, a movement understood as a way of life that rejected inherited traditions, beauty, eternal principles, logic and its laws, pre-established norms and abstract concepts, among others, and advocated the unbridled freedom of the individual, spontaneity and the fortuitous. From Cabaret Voltaire, Dada spread across Europe and the United States: Berlin, Cologne, Hannover, New York, Paris and so on. However, towards the end of the twenties, it began to lose the verve and vigour of its nascent years.

The legacy of Dada ideas is primarily preserved in the form of printed material. Via Archivo Lafuente’s Dada collection, one is able to journey through the history of the movement by means of extensive documentary materials composed of posters, manifestos, books, photographs and printed matter, among others, by the likes of Hans Arp, Max Ernst, George Grosz, Raoul Hausmann, Richard Huelsenbeck, Francis Picabia, Kurt Schwitters and Tristan Tzara, and an important collection of magazines: Maintenant, by Arthur Cravan; Dada, by Tristan Tzara; 291, 391 and Cannibale, by Francis Picabia; Der Dada, by Raoul Hausmann; Mécano, by Theo van Doesburg; and Merz, by Kurt Schwitters.



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