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Love Len Lye

Behind the scenes

I've always been a fan of Len Lye's work so it was a treat to see his kinetic sculpture on display in Len Lye: Kaleidoscope at the City Gallery when I passed through Wellington last week.

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Lye's kinetic work never fails to please, especially the pieces that make you feel a little uneasy, dangerous pieces that make you keep your distance for fear of being walloped by a blade of stainless steel. One piece on display at City Gallery, Storm King, builds in intensity, movement and sound that couldn't help but remind me of sitting through an earthquake. 

You can view it in action here

Len Lye Universe 1966. 1998 reconstruction, steel on wood and laminated wood base, magnets, cork ball, 220 x 250 x 28 cm. Len Lye Foundation, Govett Brewster Art Gallery.

Len Lye Universe 1966. 1998 reconstruction, steel on wood and laminated wood base, magnets, cork ball, 220 x 250 x 28 cm. Len Lye Foundation, Govett Brewster Art Gallery.

Other kinetic pieces included the more sedate Universe, Firebush, Grass and Fountain; well worth the visit if you are in Wellington. By happy coincidence just round the corner from the Len Lye exhibition is a show of new paintings by New York / New Zealand artist Max Gimblett who was best pals with Lye in New York during the 1970s. Max's exhibition, On a Clear Day is running at the Page Blackie Gallery until April 6. A nice connection between two great artists.

Installation view of Max Gimblett: On a Clear Day at Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington. 

Installation view of Max Gimblett: On a Clear Day at Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington. 

Len Lye and Max Gimblett in Lye's studio, New York, 1980. Art New Zealand 17.

Len Lye and Max Gimblett in Lye's studio, New York, 1980. Art New Zealand 17.