In celebration of the release of the new book by Catherine Craft, An Audience of Artists: Dada, Neo-Dada and the Emergence of Abstract Expressionism, the Nasher Sculpture Center presents a 360 lecture led by the Adjunct Assistant Curator for Research and Exhibitions, beginning at 1PM.
Toward the end of the 1950s in New York, the term Neo-Dada surfaced to label Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and a number of other young artists whose work seemed sharply at odds with Abstract Expressionism. It was a true return to Dada, the radical avant-garde, anti-art movement that emerged after World War I. Soon the Neo-Dada style came to encompass a variety of experimental art, including assemblage, performance, Pop art and nascent forms of minimal and conceptual art.
Drawing on an array of previously unpublished material, Craft reveals Neo-Dada to be a complex phenomenon arising from concerns about viewers, originality and artists’ debts to the past and one another. Tracing the activities of artists such as Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman and Jackson Pollock alongside Marcel Duchamp’s renewed embrace of Dada in the late 1940s, Craft explores the challenges facing artists trying to work in the wake of a destructive world war and the paintings, objects, writings and installations that resulted from their efforts.