Kinetic art is art from any medium that contains movement perceivable by the viewer or depends on motion for its effect. Canvas paintings that extend the viewer's perspective of the artwork and incorporate multidimensional movement are the earliest examples of kinetic art. More pertinently 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.

There is also a portion of kinetic art that includes virtual movement, or rather movement perceived from only certain angles or sections of the work. This term also clashes frequently with the term "apparent movement", which many people use when referring to an artwork whose movement is created by motors, machines, or electrically-powered systems. Both apparent and virtual movement are styles of kinetic art that only recently have been argued as styles of op art.

The amount of overlap between kinetic and op art is not significant enough for artists and art historians to consider merging the two styles under one umbrella term, but there are distinctions that have yet to be made.
"Kinetic art" as a moniker developed from a number of sources. Kinetic art has its origins in the late 1800s impressionist artists such as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Édouard Manet who originally experimented with accentuating the movement of human figures on canvas. This triumvirate of impressionist painters all sought to create art that was more lifelike than their contemporaries. Degas’ dancer and racehorse portraits are examples of what he believed to be "photographic realism"; artists such as Degas in the late 1800s felt the need to challenge the movement toward photography with vivid, cadenced landscapes and portraits.
By the early 1900s, certain artists grew closer and closer to ascribing their art to dynamic motion. Naum Gabo, one of the two artists attributed to naming this style, wrote frequently about his work as examples of "kinetic rhythm". He felt that his moving sculpture Kinetic Construction (also dubbed Standing Wave, 1919–20) was the first of its kind in the 20th century. From the 1920s until the 1960s, the style of kinetic art was reshaped by a number of other artists who experimented with mobiles and new forms of sculpture.

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  • 1. [Op art] Op art, also known as optical art, is a style of visual art that makes use of optical illusions.
    Op art works are abstract, with many of the better known pieces made in black and white. When the viewer looks at them, the impression is given of movement, hidden images, flashing and vibrations, patterns, or alternatively, of swelling or warping.
  • 2. [Jean Tinguely] Jean Tinguely (22 May 1925 – 30 August 1991) was a Swiss painter and sculptor. He is best known for his sculptural machines or kinetic art, in the Dada tradition; known officially as metamechanics. Tinguely's art satirized the mindless overproduction of material goods in advanced industrial society.
  • 3. [George Rickey] George Warren Rickey (June 6, 1907 – July 17, 2002) was an American kinetic sculptor.
  • 4. [Jesús Rafael Soto] Jesús Rafael Soto (June 5, 1923 - January 14, 2005) was a Venezuelan op and kinetic artist, a sculptor and a painter.
  • 5. [Victor Vasarely] Victor Vasarely (French: [viktɔʁ vazaʁəli]; Hungarian: [viktor vɒzɒrɛlːi]; born Vásárhelyi Győző [vaːʃaːrhɛji ɟøːzøː]; ( 1906-04-09)9 April 1906 – 15 March 1997( 1997-03-15)), was a Hungarian–French artist, who is widely accepted as a "grandfather" and leader of the short-lived op art movement. His work entitled Zebra, created in the 1930s, is considered by some to be one of the earliest examples of op art.
  • 6. [Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel] Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV) (Research Art Group) was a collaborative artists group in Paris that consisted of eleven opto-kinetic artists, like François Morellet, Julio Le Parc, Francisco Sobrino, Horacio Garcia Rossi, Yvaral, Joël Stein and Vera Molnár, who picked up on Victor Vasarely's concept that the sole artist was outdated and which, according
  • 7. [Mobile (sculpture)] A mobile is a type of kinetic sculpture constructed to take advantage of the principle of equilibrium. It consists of a number of rods, from which weighted objects or further rods hang. The objects hanging from the rods balance each other, so that the rods remain more or less horizontal. Each rod hangs from only
  • 8. [Carlos Cruz-Diez] Carlos Cruz-Diez (born August 17, 1923 in Caracas) is a Venezuelan kinetic and op artist. He lives in Paris. He has spent his professional career working and teaching between both Paris and Caracas. His work is represented in museums and public art sites internationally. He is represented by three American galleries: Sicardi Gallery in Houston, Texas, Moka Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, and Maxwell Davidson Gallery in New York, New York.
  • 9. [Yaacov Agam] Yaacov Agam (Hebrew: יעקב אגם‎) (b. 1928) is an Israeli sculptor and experimental artist best known for his contributions to optical and kinetic art.
  • 10. [Julio Le Parc] Julio Le Parc (born September 23, 1928) is an Argentina-born artist who focuses on both modern op art and kinetic art. Le Parc attended the School of Fine Arts in Argentina. A founding member of Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visual (GRAV) and award winning artworks, he is a significant figure in Argentinean modern art.
  • 11. [Nicolas Schöffer] Nicolas Schöffer (Hungarian: Schöffer Miklós; September 6, 1912 — January 8, 1992) was a Hungarian-born French artist. He can be considered as the father of cybernetic art. He was born in Kalocsa, Austria-Hungary and resided in Paris from 1936 till his death in his Montmartre atelier in 1992. His career touched on painting, kinetic sculpture,
  • 12. [Lumino kinetic art] Lumino Kinetic art involves, as the name suggests, light and movement. It is a subset and an art historical term in the context of the more established kinetic art, which in turn is a subset of new media art. The historian of art Frank Popper views the evolution of this type of art as evidence
  • 13. [François Morellet] François Morellet (born 1926, Cholet, Maine-et-Loire) is a contemporary French painter, engraver, sculptor and light artist. His early work prefigured Minimal art and Conceptual art, and he has played an important role in the development of geometrical abstract art.
  • 14. [Getulio Alviani] Getulio Alviani (5 September 1939 ) is an Italian painter born in Udine. He is considered to be an important International Optical - kinetic artist.
  • 15. [Wen-Ying Tsai] Wen-Ying Tsai (October 13, 1928 – January 2, 2013) was an American pioneer cybernetic sculptor and kinetic artist best known for creating sculptures using electric motors, stainless steel rods, stroboscopic light, and audio feedback control. As one of the first Chinese-born artists to achieve international recognition in the 1960s, Tsai was an inspiration to generations of Chinese artists around the world.
  • 16. [Heinz Mack] Heinz Mack (born March 8, 1931) is a German artist. Together with Otto Piene he founded the ZERO movement in 1957. He exhibited works at documenta in 1964 and 1977 and he represented Germany at the 1970 Venice Biennale. He is best known for his contributions to op art, light art and kinetic art.
  • 17. [Alexander Calder] Alexander Calder (/ˈkɔːldər/; July 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976) was an American sculptor known as the originator of the mobile, a type of kinetic sculpture made with delicately balanced or suspended components which move in response to motor power or air currents. Calder’s stationary sculptures are called stabiles. He also produced numerous wire figures, notably for a miniature circus.
  • 18. [Denise René] Denise René (born Denise Bleibtreu; June 1913 – 9 July 2012) was a French art gallerist specializing in kinetic art and op art.
  • 19. [Theo Jansen] Theo Jansen (born 1948) is a Dutch artist. In 1990, he began what he is known for today: building large mechanisms out of PVC that are able to move on their own, known only as Strandbeest. His animated works are a fusion of art and engineering; in a car company (BMW) television commercial Jansen says:
  • 20. [Arthur Ganson] Arthur Ganson is a renowned kinetic sculptor. He makes mechanical art demonstrations and Rube Goldberg machines with existential themes. His moving sculptures have been exhibited at a number of science museums and art galleries. Ganson's work appeals to viewers of all ages, and has been featured in an animated children's television show. He has invented mass-produced children's toys, and hosts an annual competition to make Rube Goldberg chain reaction machines.
  • 21. [Sound art] Sound art is an artistic discipline in which sound is utilised as a medium. Like many genres of contemporary art, sound art is interdisciplinary in nature, or takes on hybrid forms. Sound art can engage with subjects such as acoustics, psychoacoustics, electronics, noise music, audio media, found or environmental sound, explorations of the human body, sculpture, film or video and an ever-expanding set of subjects that are part of the current discourse of contemporary art.
  • 22. [Gerhard von Graevenitz] Gerhard von Graevenitz (born September 19, 1934 Schilde, Prignitz/Mark Brandenburg; died August 20, 1983 near Habkern/Traubachtal in Switzerland) was a German kinetic artist, co-founding member of the Nouvelle Tendance and member of the op-art movement. He also belonged to the international circle of the Zero-Group. He is seen as one of the uncompromising representatives of the constructive-concrete art of the younger generation (since 1958).
  • 23. [Takis] Panagiotis "Takis" Vassilakis (Greek: Παναγιώτης (Τάκις) Βασιλάκης; born October 25, 1925, Athens) is an artist living in Greece, but popular in France. His works can be found in many public locations in and around Paris.
  • 24. [Ludwig Wilding] Ludwig Wilding (19 May 1927 – 4 January 2010) was a German artist whose work is associated with Op art and Kinetic art. Wilding was born in Grünstadt, Germany. He studied at the University of Mainz Art School.
  • 25. [Fletcher Benton] Fletcher Benton (born February 25, 1931 Columbus, Ohio) is an American sculptor and painter from San Francisco, California. Benton is widely known for his kinetic art as well as his large-scale steel abstract geometric sculptures.
  • 26. [Gas sculpture] Gas sculpture is a proposal made by Joan Miró in his late writings to make sculptures out of gaseous materials.
    The idea of a gas sculpture also appeared in the book Gog, by Giovanni Papini (1881–1956).
  • 27. [Jean-Pierre Yvaral] Jean-Pierre Vasarely (1934–2002), professionally known as Yvaral, was a French artist working in the fields of op-art and kinetic art from 1954 onwards. He was the son of Victor Vasarely.
  • 28. [Gregorio Vardanega] Gregorio Vardanega (21 March 1923, Possagno – 7 October 2007, Paris) was an artist of Italian origins who worked in Argentina and France. Vardanega and Martha Boto (fr), his companion, created the term "chromocinetism" to describe their artistic research.
  • 29. [Nadir Afonso] Nadir Afonso, GOSE (December 4, 1920 – December 11, 2013) was a geometric abstractionist painter. Formally trained in architecture, which he practiced early in his career with Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, Nadir Afonso later studied painting in Paris and became one of the pioneers of Kinetic art, working alongside Victor Vasarely, Fernand Léger, Auguste Herbin, and André Bloc.
  • 30. [Starr Kempf] Starr Gideon Kempf (August 13, 1917, Bluffton, Ohio – April 7, 1995, Colorado Springs, Colorado) was a sculptor, architect, and artist best known for his graceful steel wind kinetic sculptures.
  • 31. [Max Bill] Max Bill (22 December 1908 – 9 December 1994) was a Swiss architect, artist, painter, typeface designer, industrial designer and graphic designer.
  • 32. [MIT Museum] The MIT Museum, founded in 1971, is located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It hosts collections of holography, technology-related artworks, artificial intelligence, robotics, maritime history, and the history of MIT. Its holography collection of 1800 pieces is the largest in the world, though not all of it is exhibited. As of
  • 33. [Gilles Larrain] Gilles Larrain (Dec 5, 1938) is a renowned French-American photographer who believes photography is a way to “capture the landscape of the soul of a person.” By taking a unique approach to photography, which includes creating his own lighting, managing the entire darkroom process, and always having subjects come to his personal studio space, Larrain
  • 34. [Vladimir Tatlin] Vladimir Yevgraphovich Tatlin (Russian: Влади́мир Евгра́фович Та́тлин; December 28 [O.S. December 16] 1885 – May 31, 1953) was a Russian and Soviet painter and architect. With Kazimir Malevich he was one of the two most important figures in the Russian avant-garde art movement of the 1920s, and he later became an important artist in the
  • 35. [Francisco Sobrino] Francisco Sobrino (1932 – 11 May 2014) was a Spanish sculptor. His career began in 1959 when he moved to Paris to have a start in his career. His works can be seen in Tel Aviv, Guadalajara, Chicago, Madrid, New York City and Paris. Sobrino was born in Guadalajara, Spain and lived in Paris.
  • 36. [Youri Messen-Jaschin] Youri Messen-Jaschin ([1]) is an artist of Latvian origin, born in Arosa, Switzerland, in 1941. He often combines oils and gouaches. His favourite colors are: strong reds, yellows, greens, and blue. He also works in body painting, exhibiting his works in nightclubs.
  • 37. [Bruce Gray (sculptor)] Bruce Gray (born 1956 Orange, New Jersey) is an artist residing in Los Angeles. His work includes kinetic art such as rolling ball machines, mobiles, stabiles, and suspended magnetic sculptures. He also creates found objects sculptures such as a lifesize motorcycle sculpture constructed from train parts, and giant objects such as a large aluminum wedge
  • 38. [Robotic art] Robotic art is any artwork that employs some form of robotic or automated technology. There are many branches of robotic art, one of which is robotic installation art, a type of installation art that is programmed to respond to viewer interactions, by means of computers, sensors and actuators. The future behavior of such installations can therefore be altered by input from either the artist or the participant, which differentiates these artworks from other types of kinetic art.
  • 39. [Alexander Rodchenko] Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko (Russian: Алекса́ндр Миха́йлович Ро́дченко; 5 December [O.S. 23 November] 1891 – December 3, 1956) was a Russian artist, sculptor, photographer and graphic designer. He was one of the founders of constructivism and Russian design; he was married to the artist Varvara Stepanova.
  • 40. [Temple Israel (Memphis, Tennessee)] Temple Israel is a Reform Jewish congregation in Memphis, Tennessee, in the United States. It is the only Reform synagogue in Memphis, the oldest and largest Jewish congregation in Tennessee, and one of the largest Reform congregations in the U.S. It was founded in 1853 by mostly German Jews as Congregation B'nai Israel (Hebrew for
  • 41. [Bridget Riley] Bridget Louise Riley CH CBE (born 24 April 1931 in Norwood, London) is an English painter who is one of the foremost exponents of op art. She currently lives and works in London, Cornwall and France.
  • 42. [Pontus Hultén] Karl Gunnar Vougt Pontus Hultén (21 June 1924 – 26 October 2006) was a Swedish art collector and museum director. Pontus Hultén is regarded as one of the most distinguished museum professionals of the twentieth century. He was the pioneering former head of the Museum for modern art in Stockholm and in the 1970s he was invited to participate in the creation of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, where he was its first director in 1974-1981.
  • 43. [László Moholy-Nagy] László Moholy-Nagy (Hungarian: [ˈlɑ̈ːsloː ˈmoholiˌnɒɟ]; July 20, 1895 – November 24, 1946) was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts.
  • 44. [Len Lye] Leonard Charles Huia "Len" Lye (/laɪ/; 5 July 1901 – 15 May 1980), was a Christchurch, New Zealand-born artist known primarily for his experimental films and kinetic sculpture. His films are held in archives including the New Zealand Film Archive, British Film Institute, Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the Pacific Film
  • 45. [Gyula Kosice] Gyula Kosice, born Fernando Fallik (April 26, 1924) in Košice (Slovakia) is a naturalized Argentine sculptor, plastic artist, theoretician and poet, one of the most important figures in kinetic and luminal art and luminance vanguard.
  • 46. [Frederick John Kiesler] Frederick John Kiesler (Czernowitz or Tschernovitz, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Chernivtsi, Ukraine), September 22, 1890 – New York City, December 27, 1965) (born as Friedrich Kiesler). Austrian-American architect, theoretician, theater designer, artist and sculptor.
  • 47. [The Bucket Fountain] The Bucket Fountain is an iconic kinetic sculpture in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. It is located in Cuba Mall, which is part of Cuba Street. It consists of a series of "buckets" that fill with water until they tip, spilling their load into the buckets and pool below. The fountain was designed by Burren and Keen and erected in 1969.
  • 48. [Alejandro Otero] Alejandro Otero (El Manteco, Bolívar March 7, 1921 - Caracas 13th, August 1990) was a Venezuelan painter of Geometric abstraction, a sculptor, a writer and a cultural promoter. He was a founding member of the Los Disidentes group.
  • 49. [Sal Maccarone] Sal Maccarone is an American author, furniture maker, sculptor and kinetic artist. He is best known as a master craftsman, and for his internationally distributed woodworking books such as Tune Up Your Tools, and How to Make $40,000 a Year Woodworking, both published by F & W publications, Betterway Books, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is
  • 50. [David Ascalon] David Ascalon (born March 8, 1945) is an Israeli contemporary sculptor and stained glass artist, and co-founder of Ascalon Studios.
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