Around since the 1910’s gained more popularity in the early 50’s.
Kinetic art marked an important revival of the tradition of Constructivism, or Constructive art, that had been a presence in modern art since the 1910s. Parts of the movement also revived its utopian optimism, talking once again of the potential for art to spread into new areas of everyday life and to embrace technology in ways appropriate to the modern world.
But the movement also borrowed much from Dada, and in this respect parts of it were highly skeptical about the potential of technology to improve human life. Artists who were inspired by Dada used their work to express a more satirical attitude to machines and movement. They suggested that rather than being humanity’s helpmate, the machine might become her master.
Kinetic art – art that depends on movement for its effects – has its origins in the Dadaist and Constructivist movements that emerged in the 1910s. It flourished into a lively avant-garde trend which attracted a wide international following.
At its heart were artists who were fascinated by the possibilities of movement in art – its potential to create new and more interactive relationships with the viewer and new visual experiences. It inspired new kinds of art that went beyond the boundaries of the traditional, handcrafted, static object, encouraging the idea that the beauty of an object could be the product of optical illusions or mechanical movement.
Arc of Petals (1941)
Painted and unpainted sheet aluminum, iron wire, and copper rivets – Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
Homage to New York (fragment) (1960)
Painted metal, wood, rubber tires – Destroyed
Artwork description & Analysis: Homage to New York was constructed in three weeks in 1960 in the garden of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and involved the talents of several artists and engineers, among them Robert Rauschenberg. It was blown to pieces in a public performance of noise and light in only 27 minutes. Consisting of several mechanized parts that result in the self-destruction of the artwork, it contained pieces of metal, wheels, bicycle horns, and motors. The parts jutted out into space to create an entanglement of abstracted forms. The machine fragments worked together to complete tasks that eventually led to its destruction. Homage to New York is typical of the anarchic and satirical side of the Kinetic art movement, and reflects the skepticism among many of its followers about the possibility of mechanization and modernization. Homage to New York is like a mechanized Frankenstein that turns on its own and destroys itself in a parable for the modern world.
Some examples of kinetic art projects you could do.
Another kind of art that was popular at this same time was Op Art. Optical art.
Here’s a tutorial we can try.