By Roger Horrocks
Len Lye: A Biography tells for the 1st time the tale of a different, charismatic artist who was once an innovator in lots of areas—film, kinetic sculpture, portray, images, and poetry. Born in New Zealand in 1901, Len Lye won a global acceptance within the arts and had friendships with many well-known humans, together with Dylan Thomas, Robert Graves, Gertrude Stein, John Grierson, Norman McLaren, Oskar Fischinger, John Cage, Robert Creeley, Laura driving, Stan Brakhage, and the artists of the recent York university. a colourful bohemian, Lye lived in London from 1926 to 1944 (where he made hugely unique hand-painted movies for John Grierson’s GPO movie Unit), then moved to manhattan for the final 36 years of his existence.
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Additional resources for Len Lye: A Biography
A. 18 Lye was more interested in the art than the history, but such a theory held considerable appeal for him. What the museum offered most richly was its collection of Maori carvings, and Lye was profoundly impressed to discover that there was a major tradition of indigenous art in his own country. He was particularly interested in carved canoes and the many versions of the tiki. According to Maori tradition, the ﬁrst human being created by the god Tane was ‘Tiki’, and the name came to be applied to any carved human ﬁgure.
20 Then he described his walk back to Wellington: ‘There’s no need to stop thinking of colour just because it’s night. ’ 21 34 len lye As an artist Lye seemed to be heading towards Impressionism with its emphasis on the greatest possible naturalism and immediacy, in contrast to the precise line-drawing he continued to practise at the Technical College. In addition to his landscape experiments he constantly sketched people from life. Having converted the woodshed at the back of the family home into a studio, he would persuade the young men who worked as models at the college to visit so he could continue sketching them outside class hours.
Although becoming an honoured ﬁgure in Australia where she later lived, her work would still be rejected as too modern by the Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington when she sent paintings home in 1946. Tovey, who was the same age as Lye, would eventually become a key ﬁgure in art education in New Zealand. 31 As a painter Tovey was also deeply interested in Constable. Lye told him about the revelation he had had while observing clouds — the discovery that ‘it was possible to create art in a moving form’.