Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Whirled view

While we're on the subject of artists having their visions created beyond the grave (as per last week’s look at Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia), here's a sketch Len Lye made for Water Whirler. It's on show at the Drawing Center in NY and it was a surprise. From the drawing it’s very clear that Lye intended the sculpture to have a specific relationship to…er… the water. The real issue with Water Whirler as presented on Wellington's waterfront, it turns out, is the podium. It's not only over-designed for the simple motion of the work but, more importantly, it alienates Water Whirler from the very element with which it is meant to interact. No big surprise that these sketches are not included in the descriptive panel next to the sculpture.

Image: one of Len Lye’s Sketches for Water Whirler c.1960 in the Len Lye Foundation Collection at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery