8 Mar — 18 May 2008
Len Lye: A Portrait Gallery
Shortly after World War II, the New Zealand-born artist Len Lye (1901-1980) created a striking series of photographic portraits.
Len Lye: A portrait gallery features a selection of Lye’s photograms, but through his work in other media, the exhibition sketches the ‘portrait’ of an artist exploring the nature of the self.
Including such well-known artists as Georgia O’Keeffe, Joan Miró and Le Corbusier among his sitters, Lye made these ‘photograms’ or ‘shadowgraphs’ without a camera by placing each subject between a light source and a sheet of photographic paper to leave their ghostly silhouette on its surface. In these works Lye drained the portrait of much of its resemblance, but added other traces of the sitter and new layers of meaning. Fascinated by the notion of individuality and the physical factors that inform each person’s makeup, many of Lye’s works can be considered meditations on identity.