Dada was an artistic and literary movement that started in Europe when World War I was going on. Because of the war, many artists, intellectuals and writers, especially those from France and Germany, moved to Switzerland, which was a neutral country. Instead of being relieved that they had escaped, the artists, intellectuals and writers were furious with the modern society. So, they decided to show their protest through artistic medium. They decided to create non-art since art in the society anyway had no meaning.
The so-called non-artists turned to creating art that had soft obscenities, scattered humor, visible puns and everyday objects. The most outrageous painting was created by Marcel Duchamp, when he painted a mustache on a copy of Mona Lisa and scribbled obscenities under it. He also created his sculpture called Fountain, which was actually a urinal without the plumbing and it had a fake signature.
The public were repulsed by the Dada movement. However, the Dadaists found this attitude encouraging. And, slowly the movement spread from Zurich to other parts of Europe and New York City. Just as many mainstream artists were thinking about this movement seriously, the Dada movement dissolved around the early 1920s.
This art movement was a protest, but at the same time it managed to be enjoyable and amusing. It was sarcastic, colorful, quirky and silly. If a person at that time had not been aware of the logic behind the movement, he or she would have been wondering what the artist was up to creating pieces like the ones that were created. However, the artist who created the Dada art was very serious about his work. The movement did not favor one medium over another. It used everything from glass to plaster to geometric tapestries to wooden reliefs. In addition, the movement was also responsible for influencing many trends in the field of visual art, the most well-known being Surrealism.