ART: DAYS OF ANTIC WEIRDNESS

A LOOK BACK AT DADAISM'S BRIEF, OUTRAGEOUS ASSAULT ON THE NEW YORK SCENE

Yesterday's aggro and shock, today's museum relic. "Making Mischief: Dada Invades New York," curated by Francis Naumann and Beth Venn and now running at New York City's Whitney Museum of American Art, is an interesting show of what is, ultimately, a spiky but fairly thin subject. Dadaism--its name made of baby-talk syllables, its intent to disorient bourgeois expectations of culture by any means possible--was a short-lived but fecund movement born and raised in Europe in the century's teens. It was more like a tiny religion than an art event, with a proselytizing spirit, a code of behavior, a core of the...

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