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By Horrocks, Roger; Edited by Brobbel, Paul
Celebrating the 120th anniversary of artist Len Lye (1901-1980), the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and the Len Lye Foundation co-publish the first collection of the artist's poetry. Introduced and selected by Len Lye Foundation trustee and University of Auckland Professor Emeritus,... Roger Horrocks, the 42 poems collected in Poems are an exciting glimpse into the literary world of Len Lye.
Internationally recognised for his pioneering experimental films and boisterous kinetic sculpture, Lye's practice included painting, photography and the written word, a multimedia practice unified around the artist's declared dedication to movement as an artistic medium.
As a schoolboy in Aotearoa, Lye considered poetry to be "a lot of romanticised junk," but after moving to London in 1926 he "woke up" to poetry. Lye befriended many famous poets of the day such as Norman Cameron, Dylan Thomas, Robert Graves, Laura Riding and Gertrude Stein. They encouraged him to write because they saw something very original in his quirky style of speech.Read more
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By Lye, Len; Graves, Robert; Edited by Horrocks, Roger
Written in 1941 by highly original, New Zealand-born artist Len Lye and famous British writer Robert Graves, 'Individual Happiness Now' is their attempt to define the freedoms that millions of people were risking their lives to defend, as they fought against Hitler and the Nazis.... Their essay is a fascinating attempt to express the key principles that give meaning and value to life.
Today, the questions raised by Lye and Graves - and their answers - have once again become deeply relevant, as terrorists and extremist politicians are challenging the basic ideals of our society.
Simon Rees, Director, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery: "This 'joint' announcement' is testament to one of the great creative friendships of the 20th century. Lye and Graves' concept of 'individual happiness' is as relevant now - in a time of populism and demagoguery - as when it was written against fascism."
Published in association with the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre exhibition On an Island: Len Lye, Robert Graves and Laura Riding (8 Apr - 6 Aug 2017).Read more
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