A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art

By Ian Chilvers | Go to book overview

C

Cabaret Voltaire . A club founded in Zurich in February 1916 by the German poet, musician, and theatrical producer Hugo Ball ( 1886- 1927); it was one of the chief breeding grounds of the *Dada movement. A press announcement on 2 February read: ' Cabaret Voltaire. Under this name a group of young artists and writers has been formed with the object of becoming a centre for artistic entertainment. The Cabaret Voltaire will be run on the principle of daily meetings where visiting artists will perform their music and poetry. The young artists of Zurich are invited to bring along their ideas and contributions.' It opened on 5 March. Among the leading figures were the singer Emmy Hennings (later Bali's wife), the poets Tristan Tzara and Richard Hülsenbeck, and the artists Jean *Arp, Marcel *Janco, and Hans *Richter. The Cabaret Voltaire was, in Richter's words, 'an overnight sensation', but it was forced to close early in 1917 because of 'the complaints of respectable citizens outraged by the nightly excesses'. An account of a typical night was given by Georges Hugnet, a Surrealist poet: 'On the stage someone thumped keys and bottles to make music until the audience, nearly crazy, protested . . . A voice from beneath an enormous hat shaped like a sugar- loaf declaimed Arp's poems. Htilsenbeck bellowed his poems, while Tzara emphasized the rhythms and crescendos by banging on a bass drum.' After the closure Ball and Tzara rented a gallery, opened in March 1917 as the Galerie Dada, to which they transferred their activities.

Cabaret Voltaire was the name of the first Dada publication--a pamphlet edited by Ball issued on 15 June 1916.

cachetage . A technique in which casual odds and ends such as nails, screws, bottle caps, studs, buttons, coins, etc. are sealed onto a picture ground made of a resinous substance in order to create an abstract pattern. The technique was principally practised by the German painter and printmaker Werner Schreib ( 1925-).

cadavre exquis . A game in which a small group of people contribute in turn to make up a sentence or a drawing, no member of the group being aware of what the others have contributed (in the case of a drawing, the paper is usually folded in such a way that the edge of the previous participant's work-- meaningless in itself--is visible, providing a starting-point for the next person). This old party game, usually called 'consequences', was given a new seriousness and significance by the *Surrealists as a device for tapping the collective unconscious or exploiting the element of chance that they believed to be a path to creativity. In * Breton Dictionnaire abrégé du surrealisme ( 1938) it is described as follows: 'A game with folded paper. Every participant makes a drawing without knowing what his predecessor has drawn, because the predecessor's contribution is concealed by the folded part of the paper. The example which has become a classic, and to which the game owes its name, was the first sentence produced by this method [in 1925]: "Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau" [The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine].' An example of a cadavre exquis drawing from 1926 is in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the participants having been Breton, * Tanguy, and four others.

Cadell, F. C. B. (Francis Campbell Boileau) (1883-1937). Scottish painter. He studied at the *Académie Julian, Paris, 1899-1902, and lived in Munich, 1906-8, before settling in his native Edinburgh. Unlike the other *Scottish Colourists, he was initially less influenced by *Post-Impressionism and *Fauvism than by the tradition of virtuoso brushwork stemming from Manet. Cadell The Black Bottle (NG

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A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Abbreviations xiv
  • A 1
  • B 46
  • C 106
  • D 154
  • E 189
  • F 204
  • G 228
  • H 264
  • I 293
  • J 299
  • K 308
  • L 332
  • M 360
  • N 426
  • O 450
  • P 461
  • Q 502
  • R 503
  • S 540
  • T 605
  • U 626
  • V 631
  • W 646
  • X 663
  • Y 665
  • Z 667
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