Kinetic art involves some aspect of movement. This can include electric motor-powered sculptures, works of art that move in response to the wind, or optical illusions that give the impression of movement. Any art that incorporates motion can be considered kinetic art.\n\nInspired by the Dada art movement, which popularized satirical, conceptual art, and Constructivism, which employed architectural elements, kinetic art took root as a movement in the early twentieth century and peaked in the 1950s and ’60s.\n\n- __Early 1900s__: In 1913, artist Marcel Duchamp started exploring the idea that art could be interactive. In his Paris studio, he created what may have been the era’s first piece of kinetic art, *Bicycle Wheel*, by affixing a bicycle wheel to a stool in a way that allowed the wheel to spin freely. \n- __1920s__: In 1920, brothers Antoine Pevsner and Naum Gabo coined the term “kinetic art” in their “Realistic Manifesto,” a poster-sized manifesto advocating for their Constructivist ideals and the idea that modern art should be grounded in space and time. That same year, Gabo created *Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave)*, an influential kinetic artwork that used electricity to make a strip of metal oscillate. \n- __1930s__: In 1930, Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy completed work on his piece *Light-Space-Modulator*, a mechanically-powered kinetic sculpture that had several interlocking components. \n- __1940s__: In 1941, American sculptor Alexander Calder rose to fame with *Arc of Petals*, a mobile he created using a wire frame with petal-like appendages. \n- __1950s__: The kinetic art movement reached peak recognition at the 1955 exhibition, *Le Mouvement*, at the Galerie Denise René in Paris. The exhibition featured artists who experimented with motion including Jean Tinguely, Alexander Calder, Yaacov Agam, Marcel Duchamp, Jesús Rafael Soto, and Victor Vasarely. George Rickey also arrived on the scene around this time and influenced other kinetic artists with his organic, playful sculptures. \n- __1960s__: Swiss painter and sculptor Jean Tinguely unveiled his most recognized kinetic artwork, *Homage to New York*, in New York in 1960. A large-scale system featuring many moving parts, the piece included parts that self-destructed and intentionally caught fire. This piece also popularized the use of found objects, a style that came to be known as “junk art.”\n- __1970 to present__: By the early 1970s, kinetic art declined in popularity as more artists turned to op art and experimental digital formats. However, contemporary art continues to draw inspiration from kinetic artists.\nKineticism is a broad category, but three main characteristics provide a throughline. \n\n1. __Movement__: Whether motorized, battery-operated, wind-dependent, or implied via optical illusions, motion is the centerpiece of kinetic art.\n2. __Found objects__: Some pieces of kinetic art rely on everyday objects to provide structure and movement.\n3. __Mechanics__: Many pieces of kinetic art use some kind of machinery or interlocking, mechanical components to provide movement. \nMany notable pieces fall into the category of kinetic art, but three famous examples helped define the movement. \n\n1. __*Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave)* by Naum Gabo (1920)__: Regarded as one of the first mechanical sculptures of the movement, *Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave)* is a mechanical, steel sculpture. When turned on, a steel rod oscillates quickly, creating the illusion that it is twisting in a serpentine motion. \n2. __*Arc of Petals* by Alexander Calder (1941)__: Calder celebrated movement in art by creating mobiles that relied on wind and air currents to move. He experimented with shapes, colors, textures, weight, and materials, as well as placement. For example, some of his mobiles hung from the ceiling while others were mounted to walls or free-standing. *Arc of Petals* is his most widely recognized mobile and features a wire frame with petal-like appendages that move in the breeze.\n3. __*Homage to New York* by Jean Tinguely (1960)__: Tinguely’s most famous piece, *Homage to New York* was a chaotic structure of interlocking machinery. Part sculpture and part performance art, the piece ushered a wave of ambitious kinetic art that made use of found objects. \n\nGrab the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com) and plumb the depths of your creativity with the help of modern artist Jeff Koons, abstract artist Futura, and stage designer Es Devlin. Our exclusive video lessons will teach you to do things like utilize color and scale, explore the beauty in everyday objects, and so much more.\nIn the early twentieth century, industrial advances inspired a new modern art form called kinetic art.