Kinetic Art began in the middle 1950's. The artists formed a loosely connected group that managed to attain some support from the public in Europe and the United States. The artists had a general idea that art could be examined through movement. They took and adapted many ideas from their predecessors, and concentrated them into more close knit theories. Kinetic artists derived many of their styles from the ideas of Futurism, a previous art movement that appreciated movement for its source of artistic value.

The Kinetic artists enjoyed the work of two men. They mostly appreciated their position regarding kinetics. In 1920, two men named Gabo and Pevsner published the Realist Manifesto. Together, they strongly criticized Futurism for not affirming kinetic rhythms in sculpture. The two men declared that kinetic rhythms were the most important part in kinetic sculpture.

Kinetic Art received some of its initial principles from Gabo and Pevsner. For example, the men did not believe that sculpture needed to have a definite solid appearance. A piece of artwork could take form through Kinetic Art. If you took a piece of string, and attached a weight at one end and spun it at the other, the figure from the spinning could make the appearance of a solidified shape. The Kinetic artists later developed this idea.

Other people to influence Kinetic Art included Laszlo-Moholy-Nagy and Alexander Calder.

Moholy-Nagy created a type of Kinetic sculpture called the "light machine". With his light machine, Moholy-Nagy introduced the possibility and importance of light in sculpture. Many Kinetic artists had the problem of powering their moving art, some liked to show how a motor made their work move.

Calder, another great influence to Kinetic Art, opened up new doors by showing how a power source could be fully hidden. He used the natural power source of air to make his sculptures move. Calder therefore had no problems with having to hide a power source for the movement to take place; since the source of power came from nature.

When Kinetic Art emerged in the 1950's, the movement seemed to emphasize what these men used to create sculptures. Most artists initially began with simple moving art, but many later began new experiments with lighting and mirrors.