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Art Talks: Dadaglobe Reconstructed: A Discussion of the Artworks & Texts / Adrian Sudhalter & Mary Ann Caws

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September 6, 2016

Dadaglobe Reconstructed: A Discussion of the Artworks & Texts /
In conversation with Adrian Sudhalter & Mary Ann Caws
Moderated by Samantha Friedman


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In 1920 and 1921, Tristan Tzara, co-founder of the Dada movement, planned an ambitious anthology: Dadaglobe.  This volume was to have been 160 to 300 pages long and printed in an edition of 10,000 copies.  The project ran into budgetary and interpersonal problems and was never published.  What remained after its demise were over 100 artworks and 100 texts that had been sent to Tzara for its pages, many of which were specifically created for it.

Adrian Sudhalter has spent the last six years identifying and locating the intended contributions to Dadaglobe and reconstructing this book based on indications Tzara left behind in his archive.  Many of the artworks intended for Dadaglobe are considered icons of 20th century art, but their origin in this volume have long been forgotten.

This conversation between Sudhalter, an art historian and resident of the New York Public Library's Frederick Lewis Allen Memorial Room, and Mary Ann Caws, a world-renowned scholar and translator of Dada and Surrealist texts, moderated by MoMA Assistant Curator Samantha Friedman, considers the ways in which artworks and texts are transformed, translated, and transmuted on the printed page.

Complementing the exhibition
Dadaglobe Reconstructed, currently on view at The Museum of Modern, New York Art (June 12 to September 18, 2016), this program—conceived especially for the Library— foregrounds the significance of the mass-produced, photomechanically printed book for the presentation of radical works.

For more information on the Research Study Rooms in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, click here.

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This program is co-organized with The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs

Adrian Sudhalter is an art historian specializing in European art between the two World Wars. She holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and has held curatorial positions at the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard Art Museums, and at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.  She has received grants from the Clark Art Institute, the Dedalus Foundation, and the Getty Foundation, and realized the project Dadaglobe Reconstructed as writer-in-residence in The New York Public Library's Frederick Lewis Allen Memorial Room.

Mary Ann Caws is a translator of French poetry, the editor of the Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry, Surrealist Love Poems, and Surrealist Painters and Poets, the author of The Surrealist Look, Surprised in Translation, and the Modern Art Cookbook, brief biographies of Henry James, Proust, Woolf, Picasso, Dali, and Pascal, and catalogues on André Masson, Robert Motherwell, Unica Zurn, the rue Blomet, and Kay Sage. She has held Guggenheim, Fulbright, Rockefeller and Getty Fellowships, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Samantha Friedman is an Assistant Curator in MoMA’s Department of Drawings and Prints, where she recently co-organized Dadaglobe Reconstructed with Adrian Sudhalter.  Other exhibitions include Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs (with Jodi Hauptman and Karl Buchberg), Van Gogh, Dalí, and Beyond: The World Reimagined, Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration, and, with Jodi Hauptman, Fast Forward: Modern Moments, 1913-2013, Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters, and Stage Pictures: Drawing for Performance.  Author of the children’s books What Degas Saw and Matisse’s Garden, Friedman holds an M.A. in Modern Art from Columbia University.

Image: Dadaglobe solicitation form letter signed by Francis Picabia,Tristan Tzara, Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, and Walter Serner, c. week of November 8, 1920. This example was sent to Christian Schad. Christian Schad Stiftung Aschaffenburg.