Anti-meaning: Absurdity against the establishment Emerging amid the brutality of World War I the revolutionary Dada movement took disgust with the establishment as its starting point. From 1916 until the mid 1920s artists in Zurich Cologne Hanover Paris and New York posed a radical assault against the politics social values and cultural conformity which they regarded as complicit in the devastation of conflict. Dada artists shared no distinct style but rather a common wish to upturn societal structures as much as artistic standards and to replace logic and reason with the absurd chaotic and unpredictable. Their practice encompassed experimental theater games guttural sound-making collage photomontage chance-based procedures and the readymade most notoriously Marcel Duchamp’s urinal Fountain (1917). Throughout the Dadaists considered the visual appearance of their work secondary to the ideas and critiques it expressed. In this sense Dada may be seen as a fundamental precursor to conceptual art. With a selection of key works from some of the most famous proponents of Dada such as Tristan Tzara Marcel Duchamp Hannah Hch Kurt Schwitters Francis Picabia and Man Ray this book introduces this urgent subversive and determined twentieth century movement and its lasting influence on modern art. Dietmar Elger studied art history history and literature at the University of Hamburg. In 1984/85 he was secretary of Gerhard Richters studio and between 1986 and 2006 curator for painting and sculpture at the Sprengel Museum Hanover. He has organized numerous exhibitions on modern and contemporary art and has directed the Gerhard Richter Archive at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden since 2006. About the Series Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Genre series features: a detailed illustrated introduction plus a timeline of the most important political cultural and social events that took place during that period a selection of the most important works of the epoch each of which is presented on a 2-page spread with a full-page image and with an interpretation of the respective work plus a portrait and brief biography of the artist approximately 100 colour illustrations with explanatory captions.