Kinetic Art..let’s explore the term

Kinetic art is art that depends on motion for its effects. This has been partly to explore the possibilities of movement, partly to introduce the element of time, partly to reflect the importance of the machine and technology in the modern world and partly to explore the nature of vision.(Tate n.d.).

Most of the artists believe that kinetic art should be 3D in nature or at least 180 degrees of our perception, as demonstrated by artworks by Naum Gabo and Alexander Calder. Op art can also be considered as kinetic art. Can 2D art be categorized under kinetic art?

“Kinetic art” as a moniker developed from a number of sources. Kinetic art has its origins in the late 19th century impressionist artists such as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Édouard Manet who originally experimented with accentuating the movement of human figures on canvas (Wikipedia, 2020)

Any visual elements on the surfaces that created a sense of movement in the human eyes can be considered as kinetic art. Conventionally, most of the painters may sometimes deal with an expression that uses the visual elements from vibrant colours or textures mixed with lines to create a sense of movement in our eyes. The scenario can clearly be seen in most of the works from futurism such as Giacomo Bala, Marcel Duchamp and abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock (just to name a few).

Kinetic art is a manifestation of the fascination with motion which defines a whole swathe of modern art from Impressionism onwards. In presenting works of art which moved, or which gave the impression of movement – from mobile, mechanical sculptures to Op art paintings which seemed to rotate or vibrate in front of the eyes (The Art Story, n.d.)

Based on the arguments above, I believe that kinetic art has two main characteristics
1. Any visual elements that can create a sense of movement in human eyes
2. It can be demonstrated in 2D surfaces such as canvas, paper and digital screen such as TV, computers etc.

The video above is my attempt to demonstrate my watercolor paintings that has been animated and can be categorized under kinetic art.

This article contains quotes to strengthen my argument that Kinetic arts can be demonstrated in the 2D surface. The movement is created in the human eyes in several ways such as through vibrant colours, through animation (just to name a few).

If you disagree, please put your comments. Your comments will enrich the definition of kinetic art that will benefit an artist as a whole.


Tate Gallery (n.d.) Kinetic Art – Art Term. Retrieved from

Wikipedia (May 2020).Kinetic Art.Retrieved from

The Art Story (n.d).Kinetic Art. Retrieved from

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