Len Lye | the artist




The artist Len Lye
Born July 5 1901, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Died May 15 1980 Warwick, New York, USA.

Style and technique of the artist: Kinetic Art, Video, Sydney Biennale,


Biography and art, auction, artworks, interview, statement, website:









Original artworks, prints, exhibition posters, monographs, books, collectibles.

An experimental film-maker, poet, painter, kinetic sculptor, eccentric and ebullient personality, Len Lye is one 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…

"One morning, it had been raining all night, and there were these marvellous fast little scuddy clouds in the blue sky. As I was looking at those clouds I was thinking, wasn’t it Constable… who sketched clouds trying to convey their motions? Well, I thought, why clouds, why not just motion? Why pretend they are moving, why not just move something? All of a sudden it hit me – if there was such a thing as
composing music, there could be such a thing as composing motion. After all there are melodic figures, why can’t there be figures of motion?".

A Colour Box (videos)
Untitled (Life under the sea)


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