November 19, 2010

Kinetic Sculpture

I have been working with the Elmhurst Art Museum on the redesign of their Museum Shop. In addition to new product placement and display organization, the space was in need of a splash of color and vitality.  I found the perfect solution in an artist created Mobile.  

I contacted renowned kinetic artist Matthew Richards, who was gracious and willing to participate.  The mobile is gorgeous and it arrived in time for installation before a new exhibit opening last weekend.  The mobile is small in scale, and similar stylistically to the one pictured below.  It is prominently displayed in the museum shop, and single-handedly activates the space with color, movement and wonder.  Matthew's studio Ekko Mobile, creates custom work of all sizes for both residential and corporate installations.

"Ekko Mobiles work echos the style of Alexander Calder, father of the mobile. These post-modern hanging mobiles and kinetic sculptures are hand-crafted by Portland, Oregon-based engineer-turned-artist, Matthew Richards. Ekko Mobiles have been featured in Dwell Magazine, The Week Magazine, Elegant Bridge Magazine, and HGTV's Divine Design".    Ekko

In preparation for this installation I researched artists who work in this unique medium.  In the process I have learned a lot about Kinetic Sculpture.  It has a rich history, and offers an unparalleled experiential opportunity.  Alexander Calder was the father of the mobile.

Calder in his Paris studio, 14 Rue de la Colonie, fall 1931. Photograph by Marc Vaux

"Alexander Calder (1898-1976), whose illustrious career spanned much of the 20th century, is the most acclaimed and influential sculptor of our time. Born in a family of celebrated, though more classically trained artists, Calder utilized his innovative genius to profoundly change the course of modern art. He began by developing a new method of sculpting: by bending and twisting wire, he essentially "drew" three-dimensional figures in space. He is renowned for the invention of the mobile, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony. Calder also devoted himself to making outdoor sculpture on a grand scale from bolted sheet steel. Today, these stately titans grace public plazas in cities throughout the world".

Mobiles are often thought of as appropriate art for children, as the movement is mesmerizing and we hope it will lull our bundle of joy to sleep!  But mobiles are not only for the young, but also the young at heart. They create beauty through the movement, reflection and abstract compositions they create.  

To learn more about the work of Matthew Richards and Ekko Mobile or to order a mobile, visit Ekko Mobile, or contact the Elmhurst Art Museum.

Photograph of EKKO mobile:
Photograph of Alexander Calder:

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One Response to “Kinetic Sculpture”

  1. Christy Raedeke Says:
    November 21st, 2010 at 11:20 am

    What a fun project! I hope you post pics of the finished space.