The First World War "changed the life of words and images - radically and forever," famed art critic Robert Hughes has written.
Carol Inge Hockett looks at that artistic upheaval in WWI, Dada, and the Birth of the Modern on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at 1 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
So devastating were the horrors of modern warfare that European artists in the 1920s reacted with paintings, literature, drama, and music that rejected the old norms and created a new vocabulary. Foremost among these innovators were the Dadists, who defied cultural and intellectual conformity by shattering the long-cherished rules of "high art."
The Dadists - among them artists like Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Man Ray, and Hannah Hoch - embraced such non-traditional art forms as collage, photomontage, assemblage and "readymades" (displaying everyday objects as art).
Largely unorganized and rejected by the art establishment as anarchists and manifesto-waving radicals (their work was overtly political, pacifist and anti-bourgeoise), the Dadists nevertheless became an international phenomenon. Their pioneering efforts paved the way for modern painting (Pablo Picasso), modern music (Igor Stavinsky) and even avant garde filmmaking (Luis Bunuel).
Carol Inge Hockett is the coordinator of the School and Family Programs at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at CornellUniversity. From 1986-2004 she was the coordinator of Adult Programs and Gallery Interpretation at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Admission is free. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407.
Co-sponsored by Kansas City's Art Study Club.