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Exhibition - Kinetics: Art in Motion

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 11:00am

Museum of Sonoma County
425 Seventh Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Curated by Debra Lehane & Satri Pencak

The genre of Kinetic Art developed as an international movement. Although the Movement identifies art created between 1920-1970, earliest evidence of man’s efforts to create movement in art date back to prehistoric cave paintings where artists used visual techniques to depict movement, and the Nike of Samothrace, whose marble fabric is carved to expresses the invisible force of wind on the figure. In the modern era, kinetics’ roots go back to the 19th century when Impressionist painters such a Monet, Degas and Manet experimented with accentuating movement of the human figure on canvas.  Decades later Dada, Constructivist and Bauhaus Movements became historical precedents to Kinetic Art. Notable artists who influenced the Movement were Marcel Duchamp, Jean Tinguely, Naum Gabo, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Alexander Calder to name a few. These early 20th-Century artists sought ways to use real space, time and movement, explore new technologies, and to make social commentary. Kinetic Art was formally established as an artistic movement in 1955 with the exhibition Le Mouvement at the Galerie Denise René, Paris, France. Although the movement may have a defined time period, Kinetic Art has continued to thrive into the 21st Century.

To be identified as Kinetic Art it must contain movement. Motion can be generated through natural sources such as air currents, gravity, and light, or through interventions such as mechanical motors, electrical power, and human contact. Kinetics: Art in Motion presents contemporary California artists that continue these investigations, and whose works reflect a variety of styles and modes of movement.

One style featured in the exhibition is the traditional suspended mobile, defined by Calder’s constructions. Presenting mobiles in the exhibition are artists Laurent Davidson and Jerome Kirk. A variation of the mobile is the stabilomobile. Along with Davidson, works by Catherine Daley and Martin Munson contain stationary supports for their moving elements. These works move through natural air currents. Using mechanical motors and electric power are the works of Ned Kahn, Nemo Gould, and Thérèse Lahaie. Lahaie’s glass works represents the pioneering kinetic and light sculptors who desired to integrate art with engineering and science. Using the modern technologies of computers, the internet and solar panels to create movements are works by Camille Utterback, Chris Eckert, Mark Malmberg and Bruce Shapiro. And finally, the works that require human assistance to move is also Ned Kahn along with Mark Galt, Martin Munson and Sean Paul Lorentz.

Outside the gallery are works by Ned Kahn, Moto Ohtake, and Martin Munson who again uses the wind for movement. Mark Malmberg’s kinetic sculpture operates with solar panels.

This exhibition is generously supported by Eric and Debbie Green, Resolution Capital, and Jack and Diane Stuppin

Featuring works by

Catherine Daley
Laurent Davidson
Chris Eckert
Mark Galt
Nemo Gould
Ned Kahn
Jerome Kirk
Thérèse Lahaie
Sean Paul Lorentz
Mark Malmberg
Martin Munson
Moto Ohtake
Bruce Shapiro
Camille Utterback

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