Len Lye Trilogy (A Flip and Two Twisters)
This publication celebrates four decades of Trilogy at the Govett-Brewster with a revision of curator Tyler Cann's 2003 essay Trilogy, Tantra and Terror, alongside a newly commissioned essay from Karen Wrigglesworth exploring the engineering challenges behind one of the worlds' most compelling sculptures.
Intense, frightening and beautiful, the expertly engineered Trilogy is one of Len Lye's most captivating works. Suspended from the ceiling, a large loop (Flip) and two long strips of stainless steel (Twisters) are spun and contorted into a motorised dance. Tension builds in the flexing steel, followed by sudden whiplash stops. The thunderous crash of Trilogy reverberates around the gallery, a sound described by Lye as like 'icicles tumbling down your back'. It is a masterpiece in the field of kinetic art and a testament to Lye's vision of composing with motion.
Trilogy holds a special place in the heart of the Govett-Brewster, built for the 1977 exhibition Kinetic Works - the first exhibition of Lye's work in his homeland - and a historic part of the Govett-Brewster Collection ever since.
Edited: Paul Brobbel
Design: Jason Treweek and Shabnam Shiwan
Photography: Bryan James and Leith Robertson
© 2016 Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, and writers