Friday, May 09, 2014

Drawing out Len

Len Lye is back in New York! Ok, a bunch of his drawings, films, a few paintings and some photographs are anyway. They're on at the Drawing Centre in Soho and reveal a somewhat different Len Lye from the one we usually see in NZ. Being shown alongside Lebbeus Woods certainly gives the Lye show a very helpful push. This visionary architect was obsessed by transformation and over forty years became a world builder rather than a building builder. 

The connections with Lye are compelling returning him to us as an idiosyncratic idea maker rather than the rather solemn modernist he has calcified into in NZ. Also on show are some fascinating drawings that acted as the basis for Wellington's Waterwhirler. This sculpture has had an unhappy life on the waterfront, but more of that some other time. The Lye exhibition was co-curated by Gregory Burke and Tyler Cann. The new Govett-Brewster director Simon Rees was on hand for the opening so all very NZ/NY. Maybe that should be NY/NP.

Image: The Lye brain at work back in 1938 in a drawing from the Len Lye collection at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery now on show at New York's Drawing Center