What you may not know, is the history and background of kinetic art itself, or, what the difference is between kinetic art and sculpture? Who was it who thought to free art from the frame, to literally use the wind to breath life and beauty into an exotic but inanimate object?
Of course kinetic art itself is just one of many topics you’ll find covered here. Others, more close to home - no pun intended - will deal with landscaping, gardening, and backyard birds among other things. In other words the setting in which we place these sturdy yet ethereal moving sculptures.
Our goal is to inform and entertain, so we’ll link to stories and information that we hope will enhance your appreciation for our passion. We invite you to chime in. Your comments, pictures and video are welcome in our conversation.
What is Kinetic Art?
Wikipedia tells us that “kinetic art is art from any medium that contains movement perceivable by the viewer or depends on motion for its effect. More specifically speaking, kinetic art is a term that today most often refers to three-dimensional sculptures and figures such as mobiles that move naturally or are machine operated. The moving parts are generally powered by wind, a motor, or the observer. Kinetic art encompasses a wide variety of overlapping techniques and styles.”
For centuries, leading up to the 20th, many artists had longed to escape the frame and the two dimensionality of painting. Sculpture had a long history of course. From ancient Greece to the far east, artists carved lifelike sculptures from jade, marble and other stone. It could even be said that some of Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawings and designs for fabulous flying machines were concepts that held within them the spirit of kinetic art.
But it wasn’t until the 19th century, following the invention of the camera that the claustrophobia artist were experiencing on the canvass began to manifest itself in new and unusual ways. The realism of photography had negated the realist painting. The impressionists, were drawn to new techniques and products in an attempt to recreate the effects of natural light through the suggestions of brush strokes.
A technique called pointillism employed by Georges Seurat and others who painted with small distinct dots of pure color applied in patterns - resulted in works that literally vibrate on the canvas.
But it was a Russian born man of Jewish descent named Naum Gabo who would put the kineticin “Kinetic Art.“ Originally a medical student studying in Munich, Gabo transferred to engineering. At this same time he became interested in the abstract art of Wassily Kandinsky. He returned to Russia to teach and develop his theory of art. Dissatisfied with what Picasso and other were doing with Cubism - Gabo felt the work was neither free enough or abstract enough. He began to experiment with three enough. He began to experiment with three dimensional geometric shapes and what he ultimately came to call kinetic sculpture.