Movement in art – art in movement

Dramatic gestures, shimmering brushstrokes or performance – movement is a central theme of art. As paradoxical as it may seem, overcoming the rigidity of the motif on the canvas or in marble by means of illusion was an essential goal of artistic activity. Colour, light and composition create liveliness in the representations. The Industrial Revolution brought even more movement into life and thus also into art. In 1863 Charles Baudelaire demanded that quickly executed pictures should reflect the movement of modern life. This can be seen in the rapidly applied brushstrokes of impressionist works as well as in the sculptures of Edgar Degas, who captures his dancer at the moment of movement. Later, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner drew lines of movement around his dancing couple. In the 1960s and 70s, the works of art themselves began to move and kinetic objects were created. Mirrors break the light and change the perception of space and mirror image through their multi-perspective orientation. In the performance, the human body becomes the material itself – bodies measure the world, document movement in space. In contemporary art, painting finally enters space and becomes a moving sculpture that also involves the viewer and his movement.

22 Artworks
Created by
Städel Museum

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