“Because of its dairy and gas industries stainless is, in architectural terms, Taranaki’s local stone. The finished building is a showcase for this expertise.” –Andrew Patterson, Len Lye Centre architect
The Len Lye Centre, which opens in New Plymouth today, is a world-class building dedicated to our most innovative, versatile artist.
### NZ Herald Online 11:00 AM Saturday Jul 25, 2015
Len Lye: The father of invention
By Adam Gifford
If Len Lye didn’t exist, you couldn’t have invented him. Born at the dawn of the 20th century, he was the inquisitive kid from the wrong side of the tracks who got thrown out of Samoa for being too friendly, then shovelled coal on a steamer to get to London where he hung out with poets and painters and looked for ways to make art that moved.
In England it was film. In the United States, after he was head-hunted in 1944 to work for the March of Time newsreel service, he made sculpture. He became one of the pioneers of what was dubbed kinetic sculpture, making some works and planning many others beyond the technology of the day.
A visit back to his homeland, New Zealand, brought him into contact with engineers immersed in working steel for the dairy and oil industries, who embraced his vision and set about realising his designs. In the workshops of Taranaki he found not underlings but fellow explorers who strove to understand the properties of the metal.
It was to Taranaki that he left his life’s work on his death in 1980 and it is there, in New Zealand’s first gallery dedicated to the work of a single artist, that the work will continue to cement his position as an artist of influence.
He was reluctant to sell beneath his value, a lot of the material stayed with him and ended up with us. So his time as a kinetic sculptor is coming again because the material is well-maintained here.
Lye expected many of his works could not be made with the technology available to him, he endowed the Len Lye Foundation with a licence to create unrealised work or reconstruct existing work.
25.7.15 @ New Plymouth
The public has had its chance to take a first glimpse inside the new $12 million Len Lye Centre. The building has already earned notoriety for its stunning 32-tonne, 14m-high mirror-grade stainless steel facade.
█ Patterson Associates Ltd | pattersons.com
### radionz.co.nz 25 July 2015
RNZ National – Saturday Morning with Kim Hill
Paul Brobbel, Len Lye
9:40 AM. Paul Brobbel is Len Lye Curator at the Govett Brewster Art Gallery, supporting the development and delivery of Len Lye exhibitions and looking after the Len Lye Collection. (slideshow)
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 ( 20′ 03″ )
Taranaki Daily News:
● New Plymouth welcomes its Len Lye Centre with open arms
● Len Lye Centre opening day (photo gallery + related links)
● Len Lye’s niece moved to tears by new gallery
● Len Lye Centre serves up café
LEN LYE CALLED THE GOVETT-BREWSTER THE SWINGINGEST GALLERY IN THE ANTIPODES
█ The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is relaunching with an exhibition entitled Our Hearts of Darkness, which is an examination of violence in New Zealand through the lens of contemporary art from the gallery’s collection
█ The Len Lye Centre’s first ever exhibition is a “best of” called Len Lye’s Jam Session, both shows run until December.
Govett- Brewster Published on Aug 27, 2012
Len Lye Centre
An experimental film-maker, poet, painters, kinetic sculptor, eccentric and ebullient personality, Len Lye is on of New Zealand’s most widely-known modernist artists. The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is home to the archives and studio collection of the Len Lye Foundation.
Born in Christchurch in 1901 and largely self-educated, Lye was driven by a life-long passion for motion, energy and the possibility of composing them as a form of art. Lye’s interests took him far from New Zealand; after sojourns in the South Pacific, Lye moved to London and then New York, where he became known as an intensely creative film-maker and kinetic sculptor.
In 1977, Len Lye returned to his homeland to oversee the first New Zealand exhibition of his work at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Shortly before his death in 1980, Lye and his supporters established the Len Lye Foundation, to which he gave his work. The Gallery is the repository for much of this collection, employing a full-time curator to ensure its preservation and appropriate exhibition.
Lye’s sculptures are also held in the collections of several major art museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Whitney Museum in New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Major repositories of Lye’s film work include the New Zealand Film Archive, the British Film Institute and the Museum of Modern Art.
Govett- Brewster Published on Sep 16, 2013
Len Lye Centre – New Plymouth, Aotearoa New Zealand
Opening 2015. Since 1970, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery has continued to be a beacon for contemporary art. A new phase in the Govett-Brewster’s history begins with the construction of the Len Lye Centre as well as earthquake strengthening, Gallery upgrades and building compliance on the original building. The new combined facility, reopening in 2015, will extend the Govett-Brewster’s ability to offer extraordinary experiences with contemporary art while offering a new permanent home for the art and ideas of Len Lye.
Govett- Brewster Published on Dec 14, 2014
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
It’s been ten years down and just six months to go on the fundraising and building of Aotearoa New Zealand’s newest cultural icon – the Len Lye Centre, combined with the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery here in New Plymouth. The Len Lye Centre is the first piece of destination architecture linked to contemporary art in New Zealand, unique for its architecture, vision and the fact that building of this sort hasn’t been done before in our island nation. –Simon Rees, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre Director
Govett- Brewster Published on May 17, 2015
The inspiration behind the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre brand identity
New Zealand’s museum of contemporary art, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery unveils its new brand as it prepares to open its doors with the Len Lye Centre, 25 July 2015.
DiabolikDanger Published on Jul 11, 2014
Len Lye – Exact from Free Radicals
Filmed in Tate Liverpool
An example of direct film – making.
Free Radicals is a black-and-white animated film short by avant-garde filmmaker Len Lye. Begun in 1958 and completed in 1979, Lye made the film by directly scratching the film stock. The resulting “figures of motion” are set to music by the Bagirmi tribe of Africa.
In 2008, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Images: (from the top) Govett-Brewster Art Gallery – Len Lye Centre; whatifdunedin [BW screenshots] – Len Lye Centre architectural renders; Glenn Jeffrey – Len Lye Centre [via Stuff]; Brittany Mackenzie – Len Lye Centre [via Stuff]; Stuff – Len Lye Centre illuminated; Stuff – Len Lye, artist (archival)