hugo ball
” Art, for us, is not an end in itself, but it is an opportunity for true perception and criticism of the times we live in”
 Hugo Ball, father of Dada. Zurich 1916


Fresh Art for the 21st C. Free-thinking morally-motivated artists are cordially invited to enter contributions to 691, the London Dada online journal, via photos, concepts, words, poems or pictures.
Just as Dada flowered and flourished with the fertilizer of disillusion after World War 1, so in this turbulent, unjust and creatively uninspired age we should re-manifest art worthy of the original founders of DADA, Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara and others from the Zurich group of 1916.

London Dada

“New Dada”, “London Dada” “New Dadaists” ” New Surrealism ” “New Surrealists” and ” Darrealism ” ( Dada and Surrealism combined) are names coined by the artist, writer and photographer Michael St. Mark on 12th September 2005.
We have no concepts about style or content. London Dada, like Paris, New York, Zurich or Berlin Dada has no rules, no authority, only a progressive vision to break free of the insipid blandness of present society and create original and challenging works of art and anti-art.

.The sterile, self-important and intensely cronyistic Oxbridge old school tie network-dominated art establishment, who have for the most part hi-jacked the real spirit of art and turned it into a cheap tawdry turnstiled circus; have been stifling, ignoring and deliberately blocking artists of free-range authentic voice and integrity for  generations.

Here is a new outlet for inspired artists, a new wave of Dadaist and Surrealist expression in cyberspace, interspersed with direct art action which they cannot ignore.

Artists; To register interest in London Dada  and to contribute to 691, fill out the contact form on our Archives site.

London Dadaists are presently offering a selection of signed limited edition Works from 2005 – present, for sale – presenting a unique opportunity to invest at the ground floor whilst Dada’s London expressionis still in relative infancy.

Dada is beautuful like the night, who cradles the young day in her arms
Hans Arp
DADA speaks with you, it is everything, it belongs to every religion, can be niether victory or defeat, it lives in space and not in time
Francis Picabia

Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg, Dada is the police of the police
Richard Huelsenbeck

To find out more about the Dada and Surrealist art movements from 1916 to the 1930s, type Dada and Surrealism into your search Engine or read BRIEF HISTORY OF DADA at the end of this page.

SALES  Some Works on this site are presently being offered for sale. Please see our Archives website for purchase details.

691 London Dada virtual gallery
c. Bradders 2005



Artistic and literary movement founded in 1915 in a spirit of rebellion and disillusionment during World War I and lasting until about 1922. Although the movement had a fairly short life and was concentrated in only a few centres (New York being the only non-European one), Dada became highly influential, causing a sea change in art history, allowing for new and more modern art movements to question and challenge traditional artistic and cultural conventions and values; indeed this was its aim. The intention of Dada art – often called anti-art – was to expose the ridiculous pretensions of a society that countenanced World War I by producing social commentary in the forms of creatively nihilistic and antirational art; for example, Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain (1917; Paris), a ceramic urinal signed R Mutt (the US manufacturer).

European Dada was founded at Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich by a group of performers, writers and artists headed by Hugo Ball, his wife Emmy Hennings and Richard Heulsenbeck along with the French sculptor Jean Arp and the Romanian poet Tristan Tzara. There are several accounts of how the name Dada (French for hobby horse) originated; in fact it was chosen at random by Hugo Ball placing a finger on a random page of a French encyclopedia opened by Richard Heulsenbeck as a way of finding an alternative name for a Swiss singer booked in to the Cabaret Voltaire. When she didn’t show up and the name put to the small group it was enthusiastically taken up as a focus for their protest art activities and later became Dada’ism by being promoted as an art movement by Tristan Tzara.

During the war many intellectuals took refuge in Switzerland (which remained neutral throughout the conflict) and it consequently had a lively artistic life. The centre of Dada activities in Zürich was the Cabaret Voltaire, a club founded in 1916 by the German musician and poet Hugo Ball. Typical events there included the recitation of nonsense poems, sometimes several at the same time and accompanied by raucous music, as well as other performance art. Unruly behaviour caused locals to complain and the club was forced to close in 1917.

From Switzerland Dada spread to Germany towards the end of the war, flourishing mainly in Berlin, Cologne, and Hanover. In Berlin Dada was strongly political, the leading figures including Raoul Hausmann and John Heartfield, two of the great pioneers of photomontage, which they used to attack militarism and nationalism. In Cologne the leading figure was Max Ernst, who organized a Dada exhibition at which hatchets were provided for visitors to smash the works on show. In Hanover Kurt Schwitters created a novel version of collage using everyday refuse.

Although there were Dada groups in a few other European cities, outside Germany and Switzerland, some the most important activities of the movement were in New York where three major artists became involved: Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Francis Picabia. Duchamp, the most original of these, was the first to adopt the name Dada from Ball, and Picabia was the most vigorous in promoting Dada ideas. He subsequently travelled a great deal and helped introduce Dada to Barcelona and Paris. In Paris Dada was one of the sources of surrealism, officially launched in 1924. Several artists (including Picabia) participated in both movements. The two movements shared an antirationalist outlook, but while Tzara’s Dada was seen as nihilistic (believing in nothing, or denying all reality), surrealism was more positive in spirit.

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