Story: Creative and intellectual expatriates

Len Lye

After living for periods in Australia, Samoa and Britain from the mid 1920s, Len Lye moved to the United States in 1944 and spent the rest of his life in New York. There he developed his interest in kinetic sculpture. 

As an avante-garde artist, Lye was completely isolated in New Zealand in the 1920s, which was the major reason for his departure overseas. By the end of his life, however, there was growing interest in his work in New Zealand and in 1980, shortly before his death, the Len Lye Foundation was established to realise his vision of creating giant versions of his kinetic sculptures. This 1995 documentary, Flip and two twisters, discusses his achievement and the work of the foundation. It includes footage of Lye explaining his approach to his art.

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NZ On Screen
Reference: Flip & two twisters [videorecording]. Director/writer, Shirley Horrocks. Auckland: Point of View Productions, 1995

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Creative and intellectual expatriates - Attitudes to expatriation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/44363/len-lye (accessed 15 December 2019)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 22 Oct 2014