Len Lye: Four Fountains

25 Jul 2016 – 14 Aug 2016

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

New Plymouth
Taranaki, New Zealand


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In the Len Lye Centre's Large Works gallery - an audience favourite, the gentle, swaying 'Fountain', a bundle of rotating stainless-steel rods that twist, flex and shimmer.


Fountain is presented here as four variations on a theme, including a new member of theFountain family of works, the eight-metre tall version engineered by the Len Lye Foundation from Lye’s extensive archive of notes and designs.

“The motion I am programming will be more vividly empathic when blown up in scale” - Len Lye

Among the earliest of Lye's 'tangible motion sculptures', Fountain became a work he returned to throughout the 1960's and 1970's with numerous variations in collections around the world.

Performing alongside three earlier versions of Fountain, a new member of this family of work arrives in 2015 with the eight-metre tall version - Fountain IV - engineered by the Len Lye Foundation based on Lye's detailed design drawings and notes. From the gentle to the sublime, Lye's ambitious projects are finally realised as he envisaged - for the 21st Century.

Len Lye: Four Fountains opens a new chapter in experiencing Len Lye's works by remembering the past. In homage to Lye's performance of his 'tangible motion sculpture' at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on 5 April 1961, these Fountainsperform as a Fountain of the early 1960's did that evening, under coloured light and accompanied by music from one of Lye's favourite artists, the French composer Pierre Boulez's Le marteau sans maitre (The hammer without a master, 1955).

The gathering of the Four Fountainswill create an enchanting environment we hope to be memorable for years to come.

Paul Brobbel, Len Lye Curator
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

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Exhibiting artists

Len Lye


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