Dada was an art movement that began in 1915, and was largely characterized by a spirit of anarchic revolt against traditional values. It arose from the general mood of disillusionment surrounding WWI to which some artists reacted with irony, cynicism and nihilism.
Those involved in Dada emphasized the illogical and the absurd, and exaggerated the role of chance in artistic creation. They went to extremes in the use of buffoonery and provocative behavior to shock the world and disrupt public complacency.

The most prominent and influential Dada artists included Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Max Ernst, Andre Breton, Jean Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Raoul Hausmann, George Grosz, and Hannah Hoch.
Dada did not involve a specific artistic style or aesthetic. The methods and manifestos owed much to Futurism, but the movement lacked the optimism of that movement. In painting, the Cubist techniques of collage and montage were adopted, but the archetypal Dada forms of art and expression were the assemblage, nonsense poem and the ready-made.
The four cities that featured most prominently in the Dada movement were Zurich, Berlin, New York and Paris. In Berlin, the movement had a strong political dimension. Dada in New York rose independently of the European movement, and virtually simultaneously. It was mainly confined to the work of Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Francis Picabia, and their work tended to be more whimsical and less violent than that of their European counterparts.
1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1924
Marcel Duchamp creates the first ever Readymade, his piece Bicycle Wheel.
1915
Various artists including Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, and Jean Arp began to meet at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich to discuss art and put on performances that show their disgust with the events of WWI.
1916
July 14, Hugo Ball recites DADA’s first manifesto at a soiree at Waag Hall, Zurich.
1916
Fountain, a urinal signed by R. Mutt, but made by Duchamp, is submitted to the Society of Independent Artists show, only to be emphatically rejected.
1917
WWI ends with the Treaty of Versailles.
1918
Hannah Höch creates her piece Cut With the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany. hoch

1919
Paris Dada experiences a surge, when many founders of the movement converge there. Tristan Tzara stages three Dadaist plays in Paris from 1920-1923.
1920
Man Ray creates Gift.
gift
1921
By this time Dada is merging into Surrealism, and artists are moving onto other ideas and cultural movements.
1922-24
Although it was fairly short-lived and confined to a few centers, Dada was highly influential in its questioning and debunking of traditional concepts and methods, setting the agenda for future artistic experiment. Its techniques that involved accident and chance were of great importance to the Surrealists and the Abstract Expressionists. As well Conceptual art, has roots in Dada. The spirit of Dada has never disappeared, and its tradition has been sustained in Junk sculpture and Pop art, which in America is known as neo-Dada.
1914
Start of WWI.
1915
European Dada was founded in Zurich by a group of artists and writers including Has Arp, Hans Richter and Tristan Tzara.
1915
Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia and Man Ray meet in New York. They become the center of the Dada movement in the United States. Much of their activity was around Alfred Stieglitz’s famous gallery 291.
1916
The poet Hugo Ball performs his sound poem Karawane, at the Cabaret Voltaire.
1917
Zurich Dadaists, lead by Tristan
Tzara published the art and literature review Dada, starting in July of 1917, which eventually totaled 7 publications.
1918
Tristan Tzara’s DADA Manifesto is published. It is considered to be among the most important of the Dada writings.
1919
Picabia founds his Dada periodical 391, and introduces the movement to Paris. The Dada movement in Paris was primarily literary, and tended toward the fanciful and absurd. It was the basis for Surrealism, which officially formed there in 1924.
1920
Raoul Hausmann creates Mechanical Head [The Spirit of Our Age].
1921
Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray begin to publish the “New York Dada” periodical.
1922
Max Ernst arrives in Paris, as Dada is beginning to desintigrate.
1924
Max Ernst creates “Two Children
are Threatened by a Nightingale”
a work that heralded the beginning
of the Surrealism movement.