The Dada and Surrealism Movements were a response to the madness of WW1. The word Dada itself was coined on purpose to sound childish, like gibberish and obsurd to reflect WW1's distruction of morality. According to a Dadaist leading figure, Hugo Balls, it made a systematic destruction of meaning. Dadaism eventually moved into Surrealism and survived long through the 20th century.
Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917
This is a urinal on its side. Taken out of context and artifyed. It has Duchamp's sudname at the side 'R. Mutt'. Taking the piss out of other artists.
The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelor, 1915-23
This was shown at the 1st Internation Dada Art Fair in Berlin in 1920.
Elle a Chaud au Cul "L.H.O.O.Q", 1920
The seemingly random letters above and written below the graffitied Mona Lisa when pronounced say 'she has a hot arse'. She also has had a moustache drawn on her. Again, poking fun at artists while also implying a seedy sexual nature that is very much part of the artist cult but is never really spoken about.
George Grosz, Republican Automatons, 1920
Coming out of his head is '1,2,3 Woo! Weimar Republic!', shows how he thought that those who supported it were mindless and mechanical.
Pillars of Society, 1920
These are representatives of the extreme right-wing who he portrays as, literally, having shit for brains.
Man Ray, Gift, 1921
What a kind gift. Dadaist mentality - why not? Not like the Bauhaus with a 'form is function' approach. Just pointless really.
Making fun of prayers. Women were clearly a muse for the Surrealists!
Female figure turning into something masculine, represents a dangerous female sexuality in the same way that the womaniser Picasso portrays it in his Madamoiselles D'avignon.
Max Ernst, Virgin Mary Spanking Child before 3 Witnesses: Breton, Eluard and the Painter, 1926
Oh how far we have come. I've spent an entire year studying Renaissance influenced art and I never thought I'd see the day that Mary spanks Jesus.
Two Children are Threatened by a Nightingale, 1924
Dali, the Great Mastubator, 1929
My lecturer loved using this to talk about his Freudian theories - Dali is apparently scared of castration. It deals with his guilt and shame. The grasshopper below the belly and the ants represent decay and punishment for the sins of the flesh. The pair of legs to the right are supposedly Dali's father or the father of the subject come to punish the child.
The Lugubrious Game, 1929
This again is about being punished for your sexuality. You can see the male figure with soiled underwear which exemplified how one should be embarrassed for commiting sin.
Joan Miro, a Star Caresses the Breast of the Negress, 1938
Help Spain, Poster, 1937
Frida Kahlo, the Broken Column, 1944
This is a self portrait (we can tell because of those HIDEOUS eyebrows). This is a story of her accident on a bus where she suffered major injuries and miscarried her child as a result. She portrays herself proud, as a martyr. The name could suggest that she was once quite strong, now after her loss she is broken and literally torn up inside.
Henry Ford Hospital, 1932
This shows quite grotesquely one of her miscarriages.
Picasso, Guernica, 1937
You cannot write about Surrealism and leave out this. Picasso picked up and put styles under his belt for fun - this was one of them. The pain of the unjust bombing of the village Guernica is shown here. Franco let Hitler test out some armaments on a Spanish town during the Spanish Civil War.