Artist George Grosz aptly explained the DADA movement as "the organized use of insanity to express contempt for a bankrupt world." In the wake of the immense tragedy of World War I, he and others of his rebellious ilk threw down the gauntlet to established notions of what counts as art: formerly assumed to be beautiful, precious and not least of all made by a genius. Having none of that, the Dadaists went to raucous extremes, defacing a likeness of the Mona Lisa, entering a urinal in a prestigious exhibition and making intentionally ugly art. Finally, we get the first-ever major museum exhibition focusing on Dada to appear in this country.

Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St., (212) 708-9400. Through Sept. 11.

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