Friday, 15 February 2008

world premiere len lye retrospective at acmi

Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) Director, Tony Sweeney, today joined the Rt Hon Helen Clark, New Zealand Prime Minister, in announcing that Melbourne would host a major new survey exhibition on the work of renowned film artist Len Lye.

The announcement was made at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth, New Zealand tonight, and will see the most extensive survey exhibition of Len Lye's iconoclastic work ever to be presented in an exclusive world premiere event at ACMI in March 2009.

ACMI Director, Tony Sweeney, said the exhibition, a collaboration between the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and ACMI, would provide Australian audiences with an unprecedented opportunity to experience the depth of Len Lye's work previously unseen.

'Len Lye is truly one of the 20th century's most recognised contemporary artists, whose works influenced a generation of kinetic artists through the 1950s and 60s,' Tony said. 'Experimental filmmaker, poet, painter, sculptor and unique personality, his passion for composing motion and energy as an art form was truly pioneering.'

Len Lye's surreal kinetic artworks (Storm King and Trilogy: A Flip and Two Twisters), his hypnotic experimental films (A Colour Box, Free Radicals, and Rainbow Dance), and his sublime photograms (of friends such as painters Joan Miró and Georgia O'Keeffe, and architect Le Corbusier), explore the nature of movement, not only as a mechanical phenomenon but also as a 'life force'.

ACMI Board President, the Hon John Thwaites, said the Len Lye retrospective continues a tradition of bringing challenging, yet accessible and popular international exhibitions to Melbourne.

'Len Lye's work resonates with pop as well as high culture and his use of motion, energy and dynamism are expressed most effectively and profoundly through the moving image' John said. 'His famous direct film animations are, in effect, energetic dances of light, sound, colour and movement - utterly compelling and endlessly surprising. This is an exhibition for the whole family and is not to be missed'.

Victorian Government Arts Minister, Lynne Kosky, welcomed the announcement saying it would further reinforce Melbourne's international reputation as a leading arts and culture destination.

'Melbourne is Australia's arts capital and through the richness of its cultural assets, like ACMI, it continues to present the very best of international art to local audiences,' the Minister said. 'ACMI has a reputation for staging must see, unique to Australia exhibitions, and it continues that tradition by bringing the greatest ever survey of Len Lye's work to Melbourne audiences'.

The collaboration between ACMI and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery to curate and tour the Len Lye retrospective will also profile current plans to develop a cultural centre to be built at New Plymouth, dedicated to the work by Len Lye.

Further information

Cory Parfett, ACMI Communciations Manager
Tel: 8663 2362
Mob: 0402 968 825

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