The Dadaists were a group of European artists who had fled to Switzerland, a politically free zone, during the First World War. Their group believed in gaining a reaction from their viewer, whether it be positive or negative. One of the original Dadaists was Max Ernst. He created works which he hoped would provoke a reaction from the viewer. As well as this he experimented with different and new techniques which involved experimenting with new mediums and ways to create art. He used overpainting, which is a technique that involves the artists painting over an old image – not necessarily to completely obscure it but to improve upon it. He also used techniques such as collage, frottage, which was a type of rubbing technique, much like brass rubbing but used more natural surfaces such as wood to capture the grain patterns, grattage which involved him scratching at an already painted canvas to make the piece more textured and tactile and finally decalcomania, which saw him place paint between two surfaces and then pulling the two pieces apart to see what they revealed. (Qualität für Menschen. 2013).

Qualität für Menschen. 2013. Max Ernst. [online]. Available from: [Accessed 04 December 2013]


Early Participatory Art – Dadaists


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