Len Lye’s Trilogy

Len Lye’s Trilogy
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
20 March – 11 April 2010

Len Lye
Visitors to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery get a rare opportunity to see Len Lye’s ferociously beautiful kinetic sculpture Trilogy (A Flip and Two Twisters) (1977), when it returns to the Gallery for a short three week season from 20 March to 11 April 2010.

The largest and most dynamic of Lye’s tangible motion sculptures created in his lifetime, Trilogy (A Flip and Two Twisters) is the culmination of Len Lye’s work in moving steel sculpture. It is a key treasure in the permanent collection of the Govett-Brewster, home of the Len Lye Collection and Archive.

In a five minute performance, two seven-metre-long strips of stainless steel spin at high speed as a central loop turns itself inside out, emitting a shattering sound.

Len Lye curator Tyler Cann says, “Few works of art are so terrifying and beautiful at the same time. In a word, Trilogy is awesome.”

The powerful energy of this sculpture’s whirling and twisting has thrilled visitors to the Govett-Brewster since its debut in the first Len Lye exhibition at the Gallery in 1977. Len Lye: Trilogy is the first of the Govett-Brewster’s fortieth anniversary exhibitions and also features the Gallery’s first showing of two recently reconstructed sculptures; Zebra (1965) and Rotating Harmonic (1959).

Gallery Director Rhana Devenport says, “Each work’s powerful release of kinetic energy will make this exhibition an unforgettable and moving experience, while Trilogy itself is an icon worth the trip to Taranaki for many New Zealanders.”

On Saturday 20 March at 11.30am, John Matthews, Len Lye Foundation chair and the man who Lye called ‘an engineering genius’, opens the exhibition with a talk on the philosophy, mechanics and construction behind Trilogy, with the first performance at 12.00pm. Trilogy then performs at 11.00am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 4.00pm each day during the exhibition.

Len Lye: Trilogy is presented with the support of the Len Lye Foundation, Te Kairanga Wines and The Radio Network Taranaki.

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery