Call For Papers
Kinetic Art: Then and Now
Session at the Midwest Art History Society Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO
In the mid-1950s and 1960s kinetic art became an international phenomenon. With no single leader, manifesto, or aesthetic the term covers a wide range of works involving actual and optical movement, as well as works that demand collaborative engagement in the form of audience interaction. Tracing a lineage through early twentieth century avantgarde artists, such as Marcel Duchamp, Naum Gabo, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, the revival of interest in kinetic practices in the postwar period was manifest throughout Eastern and Western Europe, the United States, and Latin America. The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum has recently acquired a number of significant kinetic works from the 1960s, including artworks by Robert Breer, Davide Boriani, Karl Gerstner, Julio Le Parc, and Man Ray that reflect a range of experimental approaches emerging in the postwar period.
In light of the appearance of several major exhibitions of kinetic and Op art in Europe and the United States in the past decade, as well as these new acquisitions at the Kemper, it seems time to reflect on the resurgence of interest in and contemporary resonance of this movement. This panel seeks papers that examine the diversity of approaches, strategies, and social and political agendas articulated by various artists throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries who engage with the production of kinetic works. Papers might consider topics including the split character of much kinetic art, between scientific attitudes and a positivist embrace of technology on the one hand, and an interest in play and chance, on the other; or the relationship between the populist tenets often underscoring the conception of kinetic works and their critical reception. Papers that address the ways in which contemporary artistic practices embrace or integrate movement, technology, and audience interaction are also welcome.
Send proposals of no more than 250 words and a recent CV by 16 December to Meredith Malone, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis meredith_malonewustl.edu.
CFP: Kinetic Art (St. Louis, 3-5 Apr 14). In: ArtHist.net, Nov 29, 2013 (accessed Mar 31, 2023), <https://arthist.net/archive/6521>.