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Govett-Brewster Art Gallery presents Len Lye. The New Yorker

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery presents Len Lye. The New Yorker, an exhibition on view 1 December 2012–27 January 2013.

Len Lye: The New Yorker explores Lye’s early years in New York—between his arrival from Britain in 1944 and the emergence of his kinetic sculpture, or ‘tangibles,’ in the early 1960s.

With an extensive look into the Len Lye Foundation collection and archives, this exhibition considers the breadth of Lye’s activity in this important but often overlooked period, charting Lye’s progress from experimental filmmaking to becoming a leading figure of the 1960s Kinetic art movement.

A selection of both well-known and seldom-screened films illustrate Lye’s ongoing engagement with abstract cinema, his relentless technical innovation and a devotion to the kinaesthetic that triumphed in his 1958 ‘scratch-film,’ Free Radicals. Lye’s subsequent early steps as a kinetic sculptor are explored through works representative of Tangible Motion Sculpture, Lye’s 1961 kinetic performance at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Between these two familiar poles, Len Lye: The New Yorker highlights Lye’s proximity and, at times, affinity with artistic idiom of post-war New York; a personal image of 1940s New York captured by photogram portraits of friends, associates and colleagues such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Hans Richter, a return to his quasi-surrealistic mode of painting suggestive of Lawrence Alloway’s ‘Biomorphic Forties’ and the development of Lye’s theories of self-realisation and individuality alongside the emergence of Abstract-Expressionism.

Curated by Paul Brobbel, Assistant Curator Len Lye.

Len Lye: The New Yorker is supported by the Len Lye Foundation and the New Zealand Film Archive.

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
Cnr Queen and King Sts
New Plymouth 4342
Aotearoa, New Zealand