Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art

Hayward Gallery, 25 September – 22 November 1970

By Hayward Gallery

Installation view: Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, 1970. Photo: Mick Csaky (1970) by Hayward GalleryHayward Gallery

This large-scale international exhibition of kinetic art was selected by the architect and designer Theo Crosby, a founding partner of legendary design firm Pentagram. It featured the work of 68 artists, including Alexander Calder, Liliane Lijn, Nam June Paik and Jean Tinguely.

Installation View: Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, 1970. Photo: Crosby / Fletcher / Forbes (1970) by Hayward GalleryHayward Gallery

Installation View: Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery. Photo: Crosby / Fletcher / Forbes (1970) by Hayward GalleryHayward Gallery

Among this selection were established artists – or, as Crosby describes them, ‘the heroic figures of the post-war resurgence of kinetic art’ – as well as younger, emerging artists – including Stephen Willats – who were commissioned to make new works.

Installation view: Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, 1970 (1970) by Hayward GalleryHayward Gallery

Installation View: Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery (1970) by Hayward GalleryHayward Gallery

In his introduction to the exhibition’s catalogue, Crosby states that ‘early definitions of kinetics included what is now called Op art, transformables, Light art, Cyborg art ... inflatables, happenings and performances. Many of the artists shown here do some or all of those things, and there is enough material in each category to fill the Hayward many times over.’

Installation view: Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, 1970. Photo: Mick Csaky (1970) by Hayward GalleryHayward Gallery

In light of the category’s breadth, Crosby focused on mechanical art.

Installation view: Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, 1970. Photo: Mick Csaky (1970) by Hayward GalleryHayward Gallery

Installation view: Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, 1970. Photo: Crosby / Fletcher / Forbes (1970) by Hayward GalleryHayward Gallery

Lower Gallery Plans for Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery (1970) by Hayward GalleryHayward Gallery

The exhibition also included a section curated by Caroline Tisdall, which covered the history of kinetic art.

Moving Sculpture (1969-70), Barry Martin. Installation View: Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery (1970) by Barry MartinHayward Gallery

Barry Martin's Moving Sculpture (1969-70) was exhibited on one of the sculpture courts.

Upper Gallery Plans for Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery (1970) by Hayward GalleryHayward Gallery

London windsock (1970), Otto Piene. Installation View: Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, 1970. Photo: Mick Csaky (1970) by Hayward GalleryHayward Gallery

Outside the gallery flew a succession of large wind socks by artist Otto Piene. These items, which started out white or red, were quickly sullied by London’s pollution.

List of Works for Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery (1970) by Hayward GalleryHayward Gallery

Catalogue for Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, 1970 Catalogue for Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, 1970, Hayward Gallery, 1970, From the collection of: Hayward Gallery
Show lessRead more
Exhibition Guide for Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, Hayward Gallery, 1970, From the collection of: Hayward Gallery
Show lessRead more
Invitation to a Party for Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, Hayward Gallery, 1970, From the collection of: Hayward Gallery
Show lessRead more

Press Cuttings for Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, 1970 (1970) by VariousHayward Gallery

Over 120,000 visitors attended the Kinetics exhibition. One reviewer described it as ‘...probably the most spectacular exhibition ever mounted by the Arts Council’, while another declared that it had ‘all the fun of the fair’, with ‘much to entertain and excite.’

Press Cuttings for Kinetics: An International Survey of Kinetic Art, Hayward Gallery, 1970 (1970) by VariousHayward Gallery

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Hayward Gallery at 50: Uncovering the Archive
Celebrating 50 years of Hayward Gallery with a behind-the-scenes look at 50 ambitious, contemporary exhibitions through newly digitised archival material
View theme
Google apps