Kinetica Art

“A new event opens in London this week that sounds as though it could be fun. Carnivorous lampshades, pole-dancing robots, mechanical writing machines and mesmerising light sculptures are all promised at the world’s first Kinetica  Art Fair, where 25 galleries and 150 artists will congregate to promote a once fashionable art form that is now reclaiming our attention.
Historians usually trace the origins of kinetic art, which loosely means art that moves, back to the early 20th century and to Duchamp’s revolving   bicycle wheel. After Alexander Calder began making mobiles in the Fifties, kinetic art became a phenomenon of the Fifties and Sixties, characterised by Jean Tinguely’s bizarre, functionless machines, or Takis’s electromagnetic signal sculptures. But the works were difficult to maintain and frequently broke down. “It was a commercial disaster,” says Dan Chadwick, one of the new generation of kinetic artists showing at this week’s fair. There were also reservations as to whether this was art or just gadgetry, and, after the novelty wore off, kinetic art was relegated to a footnote in the history of   art. Its revival was heralded in 2000 by the Hayward Gallery in London in a largely retrospective exhibition, Force Fields, which demonstrated that kinetic art was “not just silly robotics”, says Ellie Harrison-Read of the Flowers East gallery, which last year presented its own exhibition of contemporary practitioners. Another step was the opening of the Kinetica Museum in Spitalfields, London, in 2006 with the assistance of the Arts Council England. The Museum was short-lived and now operates as an exhibition organiser, instigating the new fair. One of its founders, Tony Langford, say the fair aims “to increase understanding and to appeal to collectors. Artists have relied on public commissions, but have had little support from private collectors or museums.” The work on show will range in price from £1,000 to £150,000, though there are some laser-cut figurines for just £7.”

Text by Colin Gleadell from his 2009 article “The Kinetica Art Fair: a very moving experience / The Kinetica Art Fair can be enjoyed by art lovers, children and geeks.”

The Kinetica museum “curates national and international touring exhibitions, and produce the annual Kinetica Art Fair. It has no fixed or permanent museum space, and instead, create truly kinetic, dynamic exhibitions in varied environments.”


More images and info:

Jun Ga Young – Kinetica Art Fair 2011
Marius Watz – Kinetica Art Fair 2009


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