Contemporary Art Museum

LEN LYE

Len Lye with Flower Petals

Len Lye with Flower Petals

Len Lye: Len Lye with Flower Petals c. 1968

Roundhead

Roundhead

Len Lye Roundhead (1998 reconstruction) in Len Lye exhibition. Australian Centre for the Moving Image (16 July 2009 -11 October 2009).

Fountain

Fountain

Len Lye Fountain and Govett-Brewster Babes. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Photo credit: Taranaki Daily Newspapers

Rainbow Dance

Rainbow Dance

Len Lye Rainbow Dance 1936. Film still, 5 min. 35mm, gasparcolour

God of Light

God of Light

Len Lye God of Light 1977 in The Cosmic Archive exhibition. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (12 December 2009 – 15 March 2010).

Wind Wand with lunar eclipse

Wind Wand with lunar eclipse

Len Lye Wind Wand (detail) with lunar eclipse. Photo credit: Taranaki Daily Newspapers

Fountain III

Fountain III

Len Lye Fountain III 1976. Len Lye exhibition. Australian Centre for the Moving Image (16 July 2009 -11 October 2009). Photo credit: Mark Ashkanasy

N or NW

N or NW

Len Lye N or NW 1937. Film still, 7 min. 35mm, black and white

Chronosome

Chronosome

Len Lye Chronosome exhibition. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery installation view (6 December 2008 – 16 March 2009).

Body English

Body English

Len Lye Body English exhibition. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery installation view (19 August – 1 October 2006).

Firebush

Firebush

Len Lye Firebush 1961 (2001 reconstruction). Stainless steel rods, steel base, with motor

Len Lye

Len Lye

Len Lye Len Lye exhibition. Australian Centre for the Moving Image installation view (16 July 2009 -11 October 2009). Photo credit: Mark Ashkanasy

Tusalava

Tusalava

Len Lye Tusalava 1929. Film still, 9 min. 35mm, black and white, silent

Trilogy

Trilogy

Len Lye Zebra (2009 reconstruction) in the Trilogy exhibition. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (20 March – 16 April 2010)

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An experimental film-maker, poet, painter, kinetic sculptor, eccentric and ebullient personality, Len Lye is one of New Zealand's most widely-known modernist artists.

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is home to the archives and studio collection of the Len Lye Foundation. Born in Christchurch in 1901 and largely self-educated, Lye was driven by a life-long passion for motion, energy and the possibility of composing them as a form of art. Lye's interests took him far from New Zealand; after sojourns in the South Pacific, Lye moved to London and then New York, where he became known as an intensely creative film-maker and kinetic sculptor. 

In 1977, Len Lye returned to his homeland to oversee the first New Zealand exhibition of his work at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Shortly before his death in 1980, Lye and his supporters established the Len Lye Foundation, to which he gave his work. The Gallery is the repository for much of this collection, employing a full-time curator to ensure its preservation and appropriate exhibition. 

Lye's sculptures are also held in the collections of several major art museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Whitney Museum in New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Major repositories of Lye's film work include the New Zealand Film Archive, the British Film Institute and the Museum of Modern Art. More about Len Lye »
 

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A World Centre for Len Lye