Kinetic Art

This passage is about kinetic art and how it's created.

Lexile Level: 1320L

Categories: History Art & Music


In the 1950s and 1960s, artists around the world were interested in using motion and action within their work. This kind of art is called "kinetic art," which means that the art implies or contains the energy of movement. Some artists created sculptures out of wire and wood that incorporated motors so that parts would twirl like a machine. Alexander Calder is famous for creating mobiles, which hang from the ceiling and move with the air currents of the room. Many kinetic artworks show a sense of humor or playfulness, such as wooden boxes that continuously spew thick soap foam until it fills the room. Other artists made the creation of their work into a performance, such as Yves Klein who painted with a flamethrower. Perhaps the quintessential kinetic artwork, Jean Tinguely's "Homage to New York" was a giant wheeled machine that destroyed itself over the course of an evening at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


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