Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.

Tap Dancer

Tap Dancer

Tap Dancer, 1967, Stephan von Huene. Wood, metal, and mechanical components. 47 1/4 x 35 7/16 x 29 1/2 in. Collection of Nancy Reddin Kienholz. © Petra von Huene. Photo: Sebastian Hartz

Tap Dancer exemplifies Stephan von Huene’s kinetic sculptures of the 1960s, which incorporate traditional materials such as wood and paint, but also more unexpected, mechanized parts like motors and pieces from player-pianos. Though these works are placed on specially designed pedestals and at first appear to be static sculptures, they actually move and make noise. Adopting the qualities of both tinkerer and avant-garde artist, Von Huene was as interested in the folk craftsmanship of Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers as he was in the modernist kinetic works of the Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely. Like the artist Edward Kienholz, who admired and collected his work, Von Huene moved from Los Angeles to Germany in the 1970s.

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  • Stephan Von Huene

    Stephan von Huene with Tap Dancer (1967) in Düsseldorf, 1975. Image courtesy of and © Dr. Petra Kipphoff von Huene