Len Lye <em>Universe</em> 1976 (1988 reconstruction). Len Lye Foundation Collection, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre. Photo Tyler Cann

Len Lye Universe 1976 (1988 reconstruction). Len Lye Foundation Collection, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre. Photo Tyler Cann

A new suite of exhibitions at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre

03 Aug 2017

Through August and September the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre opens a new suite of exhibitions as part of its three season calendar.

Rolling exhibition changeovers ensure there’s always something for visitors to see as New Zealand’s contemporary art museum prepares for the official opening on Saturday 23 September.

Len Lye: Happy Moments (Sat 5 Aug – Sun 26 Nov) is a journey through the events, screenings and exhibitions of Lye’s career from his London and early New York years.

loca projects / correction (Sun 6 Aug – Sun 5 Nov), from New Plymouth based artist David Clegg, is an archive of fragments collected from drifts through real and imagined urban landscapes, presented as a simple walk through galleries and spaces where the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre meet.

Work in Progress (Sat 19 Aug – 7 Sep) brings behind-the-scenes activities into the galleries for visitors to observe first hand as registrars, art handlers, curators, photographers and guest conservators work on conservation projects for end of year exhibitions and long-term care.

At the heart of the Govett-Brewster/Len Lye Centre’s fine art film programme is the Projection Series with its seventh instalment First as fiction, then as myth (Sat 26 Aug – Sun 12 Nov). Three films by Ursula Mayer (Austria/UK), Oscar Enberg (Aotearoa New Zealand/Germany) and Martine Syms (United States) will each screen on loop, for three weeks.

New Zealand artist Ralph Hotere’s Black Paintings 1 – 7, the first works acquired for the Govett-Brewster Collection (prior 1970), are presented from Friday 22 September to 3 December.

Surface Affect: Amanda Gruenwald, Jeena Shin, Michael Zavros is the final exhibition of the suite to open (Sat 23 Sep – Sun 3 Dec). Surface Affect presents the work of these New Zealand and Australian painters working with concepts of the surface, and the surface of their pictures, in different ways.


David Clegg Manchester Street bridge Christchurch 20 February 2015. From loca projects 2015. Courtesy of the artist

Len Lye Universe 1976 (1988 reconstruction). Len Lye Foundation Collection, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre. Photo Tyler Cann



We’ve created a slideshow/video illustrating the many aspects of exhibition changeover.
You can see it here: https://youtu.be/eo_UBKXHLG4
Our full programme ‘happening’ with exhibitions, talks, tours, cinema screenings and art making, Aug – Nov, is here to peruse or download: www.govettbrewster.com


For high-res images or further enquiries please contact: 
Kelly Loney
Marketing and Communications Adviser
M: +27 839 2660
E: kellyl@govettbrewster.com
W: www.govettbrewster.com


About Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre
The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is New Zealand’s contemporary art museum in the coastal city of New Plymouth, Taranaki on the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Since opening in 1970, the Gallery has dedicated itself to innovative programming, focused collection development and audience engagement. It has earned a strong reputation nationally and internationally for its global vision and special commitment to contemporary art of the Pacific Rim. The Govett-Brewster is also home to the collection and archive of the seminal modernist filmmaker and kinetic sculptor Len Lye (1901–1980).

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery was founded with a gift to the city of New Plymouth, from one of its greatest ‘Friends’ Monica Brewster (née Govett). A globetrotter before the age of air travel, Monica Brewster envisaged an art museum for her hometown that would be an international beacon for the art and ideas of the current day – the sort she had become familiar with on her global travels.

The Govett-Brewster continues in the legacy of Monica Brewster by taking on and presenting the most provocative, audacious and confident works of art in the global arts landscape.

The greatly expanded museum re-launched on 25 July 2015 with the addition of the Len Lye Centre. With its curved exterior walls of mirror-like stainless steel, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre is the country’s first example of destination architecture linked to contemporary art.

This latest addition to the Govett-Brewster – the Len Lye Centre – is New Zealand’s first institution dedicated to a single artist, the pioneering filmmaker and kinetic sculptor, Len Lye.

In 1964 Len Lye said “Great architecture goes fifty-fifty with great art”.

The Len Lye Centre building, adjoining the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, is an example of innovative thinking in both engineering and architecture. The architects are Patterson Associates, one of New Zealand’s most internationally recognised architectural firms.

The new Len Lye Centre features Lye’s work in kinetic sculpture, film, painting, drawing, photography, batik and writing, as well as related work by contemporary and historical artists.

It also houses a state-of-the-art 62-seat cinema – a welcoming environment for audiences to experience Len Lye’s films, local and international cinema, cult, arthouse and experimental films, and regular festival programming.

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery building in New Plymouth closed in April 2013 for earthquake strengthening, compliance, upgrades and construction of the Len Lye Centre.

The Govett-Brewster/Len Lye Centre is owned and operated by the New Plymouth District Council, which governs the museum under the terms of the founding Monica Brewster Trust Deed and through the Len Lye Committee of Council which formally manages the relationship between Council, Len Lye Foundation, and Govett-Brewster staff.

About Len Lye
A visionary New Zealander, an inspirational artist, a pioneer of film; Len Lye is one of the most important and influential artists to emerge from New Zealand.

Len Lye was an experimental filmmaker, poet, painter, kinetic sculptor and creative visionary ahead of his time. Most of his works were so revolutionary that technology literally had to catch up to him – meaning much of Lye’s work was not realised in his own lifetime.

Lye’s iconic 45-metre kinetic sculpture Wind Wand sways gently on New Plymouth's Coastal Walkway. The Wind Wand that glows red at night, is the first large outdoor sculpture to be built posthumously from his plans and drawings. 
In 1977 Lye returned to his homeland to oversee the first New Zealand exhibition of his work at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. He called it the “swingiest art gallery of the antipodes”.

Shortly before his death in 1980, Lye and his supporters established the Len Lye Foundation, to which he gifted his entire collection. His collection was gifted on the condition that a suitable and permanent home be created in which his works could be fully realised.


David Clegg <em>Manchester Street bridge Christchurch 20 February 2015</em>. From <em>loca projects</em> 2015. Courtesy of the artist

David Clegg Manchester Street bridge Christchurch 20 February 2015. From loca projects 2015. Courtesy of the artist