Destruction Was My Beatrice: Dada and the Unmaking of the Twentieth Century

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Publishers Weekly "Rasula's focus on Francis Picabia and Kurt Schwitters covers new ground in addition to illustrating how well-known artists such as Man Ray, Max Ernst, and Marcel Duchamp fit into the collective movement. The book is also a fascinating history of place, as it traces the spread of Dada from the cabarets of Switzerland to the cafes of Paris, art fairs of Berlin, and galleries of New York. This accessible yet rigorous and comprehensive study outlines the history of a movement whose irreverence and inventiveness still influence our world today." Kirkus Reviews "This comprehensive study of artists, exhibits, writings, and events is a heady trip... A well-researched survey that shows the scope of Dada and its influence on the art world." Greil Marcus, author of Lipstick Traces "'Only imbeciles and Spanish professors care about dates," Hans Arp once wrote about Dada. Jed Rasula knows about dates, but unlike so many, he feels Dada on his skin. He writes and thinks from inside this crystallization of modernism, and he can follow its light anywhere." Geoffrey O'Brien, author of Sonata for Jukebox and Stolen Glimpses, Captive Shadows "Jed Rasula's mercurial curiosity and awesome erudition make him the ideal guide to that brief, mysterious moment when Dada became an international phenomenon whose provocations continue to reverberate. The exhilarating collaborations and equally frequent conflicts among a cast of amazing personalities make for a compelling and eye-opening narrative." Anne-Marie O'Connor, author of The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer "A fascinating, splendidly detailed portrait of an era when poems and paintings mattered, vividly peopled by the stars of the incendiary artistic movement whose liberating legacy can be felt in the work of everyone from T.S. Eliot and James Joyce to the Beatles and Talking Heads. In an art world overshadowed by celebrity brands and market valuations, Jed Rasula allows us to relive a moment when artists promised to be 'thoroughly new and inventive' and 'rewrite life every day.'" Marjorie Perloff, author of The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant-Guerre, and the Language of Rupture "Dada: a familiar word we all toss around. But who were the Dadaists really? What did they accomplish? How did Dada relate to other avant-garde movements like Constructivism? Was Dada a historical phenomenon or is it a state of mind? The great feat of Jed Rasula's extraordinarily lively and compelling narrative is to defamiliarize Dada so that we see its evolution as if for the first time. A genuinely delightful book!" Francis M. Naumann, curator and author of The Recurrent, Haunting Ghost: Essays on the Art, Life and Legacy of Marcel Duchamp "An informative, lively, and entertaining narrative of Dada. A virtual biography of an enormously influential art movement on the 100th anniversary of its birth." Timothy O. Benson, Curator, Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies, Los Angeles County Museum of Art "A readable narrative that rejoices in the spirit of Dada's fleeting existence, never alighting on the precast definitions that have often shackled previous explanations. Rasula brings the Dadaists to life in vivid accounts of their interactions, aspirations, mishaps, and triumphs."

Rezension:

Greil Marcus, author of Lipstick Traces "'Only imbeciles and Spanish professors care about dates," Hans Arp once wrote about Dada. Jed Rasula knows about dates, but unlike so many, he feels Dada on his skin. He writes and thinks from inside this crystallization of modernism, and he can follow its light anywhere." Geoffrey O'Brien, author of Sonata for Jukebox and Stolen Glimpses, Captive Shadows "Jed Rasula's mercurial curiosity and awesome erudition make him the ideal guide to that brief, mysterious moment when Dada became an international phenomenon whose provocations continue to reverberate. The exhilarating collaborations and equally frequent conflicts among a cast of amazing personalities make for a compelling and eye-opening narrative." Anne-Marie O'Connor, author of The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer "A fascinating, splendidly detailed portrait of an era when poems and paintings mattered, vividly peopled by the stars of the incendiary artistic movement whose liberating legacy can be felt in the work of everyone from T.S. Eliot and James Joyce to the Beatles and Talking Heads. In an art world overshadowed by celebrity brands and market valuations, Jed Rasula allows us to relive a moment when artists promised to be 'thoroughly new and inventive' and 'rewrite life every day.'" Marjorie Perloff, author of The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant-Guerre, and the Language of Rupture "Dada: a familiar word we all toss around. But who were the Dadaists really? What did they accomplish? How did Dada relate to other avant-garde movements like Constructivism? Was Dada a historical phenomenon or is it a state of mind? The great feat of Jed Rasula's extraordinarily lively and compelling narrative is to defamiliarize Dada so that we see its evolution as if for the first time. A genuinely delightful book!" Francis M. Naumann, curator and author of The Recurrent, Haunting Ghost: Essays on the Art, Life and Legacy of Marcel Duchamp "An informative, lively, and entertaining narrative of Dada. A virtual biography of an enormously influential art movement on the 100th anniversary of its birth." Timothy O. Benson, Curator, Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies, Los Angeles County Museum of Art "A readable narrative that rejoices in the spirit of Dada's fleeting existence, never alighting on the precast definitions that have often shackled previous explanations. Rasula brings the Dadaists to life in vivid accounts of their interactions, aspirations, mishaps, and triumphs."

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