Dada and Surrealism were two revolutionary art movements, which emerged in response to the events and ideas of the early twentieth century. Dada characterized by found objects and works made according to the laws of chance, was anarchic and anti art. In part a reaction to the senseless destruction of the war, it questioned all accepted values. Surrealism in contrast, was more a defined movement, which evolved in 1920’s as artist and writers took Sigmund Freud’s concept of the unconscious to undermine traditional conventions. By use of such techniques such as automatism, artist sought to represent in concrete terms the imagery of dream and fantasy. The difference between the dada and surrealist movements can be seen through the artwork of such artist as Marcel duchamp, Salvador dali, Jean Arp and Joan Miro.
Dada has often been called nihilistic, for its declared purpose was indeed to make clear to the public that all established values, moral or aesthetic, had been made meaningless by the catastrophe of the war. One of the central figures of the Dada movement was Marcel Duchamp who pushed anti art to it’s furthest limits. Duchamp mocked traditional established art by taking everyday objects and presented them as art objec
He often fused fantasy with reality in his art work Miro drew on memory, fantasy, and the irrational to create works of art that are visual representations of surrealist poetry. These everyday objects juxtaposed together to reflect how his world was changing and controversial. This idea made a mockery of traditional art and also bought about the question of "what is art". Dadaist such as duchamp set out to destroy the established art in a way reflecting there attitudes towards society"tms rational beliefs. The second was his devotion to illusionistic painting he began to paint landscapes such as "Spectre du Soir" where he exposed his inner hidden regions of his mind using ants and keys, embryonic ducks and scissors in which he isolated these objects in a desolate barren wilderness environment. Dali made two important contributions, one conceptual and one technical. Other ready-mades which conveyed duchamp attitudes towards society is "Bicycle Wheel". Free flowing drawings were created by shutting of any of the conscious preoccupations and allowing the image to just appear. The incorporation of chance operations was a way of removing the artist's will from the creative act, much as his earlier, more severely geometric collages had substituted a paper cutter for scissors, so as to remove his work from "the life of the hand. Duchamp"tms ready mades first brought controversy when he submitted a urinal turned on it"tms side, to an exhibition as a piece of sculpture, he titled it "Fountain" and signed it R. Arp discovered that images could also be made using the laws of chance, which he believed governed the world. allow him to reveal the double significance of things. The first was the so called paranoiac-critical method, whereby he converted his self-proclaimed ability to think like a madman while remaining sane was a method he applied for his dreamlike images.