Len Lye <em>Universe</em> 1963-1976 (1998 reconstruction). Len Lye Foundation Collection

Len Lye Universe 1963-1976 (1998 reconstruction). Len Lye Foundation Collection

Exhibition

6 Apr 2019 — Ongoing

Len Lye: Art That Moves

The desire to explore movement and light was a focus of Lye’s work throughout his career as a filmmaker, painter and visionary.

Art That Moves captures the essence of Len Lye’s tangible motion sculpture with a rotating selection of works from the Len Lye Foundation Collection.

Like his experiments of painting or scratching onto film and ‘doodling’ on paper, Lye’s ‘doodling’ with steel was a way to explore energy and motion. Choreographing these vibrations and motions, Lye automated the performances making one of the most vibrant and energetic bodies of modern sculpture.

Audience favourites such as Universe and Blade perform alongside lesser known works such as Albatross and the never-before exhibited Pineal Flutter.

Curated by
Paul Brobbel, Kaitakatū Mātaamua / Kaitakatū o Len Lye / Senior Curator & Len Lye Curator
Emma Glucina, Kaitakatū Kairīwhi o Len Lye / Acting Assistant Len Lye Curator

Technix Industries Limited Len Lye Foundation

Inspired by his tutor’s advice that the better of two artists is the one with their own theory of art, Len Lye (b. Christchurch, 1901 – d. New York, 1980) committed himself to a career as a ‘composer of motion’. The idea came to Lye as he watched the clouds roll across the Wellington sky. He asked himself, ‘if there was such a thing as composing music, there could be such a thing as composing motion. After all, there are melodic figures, why can’t there be figures of motion?’

Motion was Lye’s medium. It’s there in his experimental films with their bold animations and dancing soundtracks. It’s at the heart of his paintings that depict a biomorphic world of primordial energy pulsating through the cycles of life. And it is here in Art That Moves, a showcase of Lye’s tangible motion sculpture.

Art That Moves presents a rotating display of some of Lye’s most well-known kinetic sculptures alongside some lesser-known examples from the Len Lye Foundation Collection.

I ākina ia e te whakatauākī a tōna kaiako e mea ana ko te ringa toi pai ake o te tokorua ko tērā e whai ana i tōna ake piki amokura, ā, i ū tonu a Len Lye (b. Ōtautahi, 1901 - d. Te Āporo Nui, 1980) ki tōna umanga ake hei ‘kaiwhakahī nekehanga’. I toko ake te huatau i tana mātakitaki i ngā kapua e pahemo ake ana i Te Whanganui-ā-Tāra. Ka pātai ia ki a ia anō, ‘inā he tikanga whakahī waiata, he tikanga whakahī nekehanga. Ina rā, he hanganga pūorooro, he aha i kore ai ngā hanganga nekeneke.

Ko ngā nekehanga te tino tūāpapa o ngā mahi Lye. Kei reira e haka mai ana i ngā kiriata rāwekeweke me hōna waihanga muramura, pūoro whakawana hoki. He ao pāhekoheko kei te pūtake o hāna mahi katoa me te ngoi o te ora e ngīhā mai ana. Hīnei te whakatinanatanga o ngā tāreitanga nekeneke tūturu a Lye, i Art That Moves.

Ka whakaaturia he hurihanga o ngā tāreitanga nekeneke rongonui a Len Lye i Art That Moves i te taha hoki o hētehi e huna ana i te kohinga o Len Lye Foundation Collection.