Extended by popular demand

Pleased to say the Sky Snakes exhibition will be extended until April 2021 given its huge popularity with our audience and the interruptions of Covid19. We only just installed the work before Aotearoa went into its lockdown. But back up and running for the last few months, it’s been a big hit.

Here’s my favourite photograph of the work. The photographer is Jürgen Eisenhauer.

Weekend Reading

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screenshot-2020-06-14-at-4.18.24-pm.png

The four issue of the Midwest magazine founded and published by the Govett-Brewster in the 1990s are now available online for free here – a project lockdown allowed me to finish.

This week was a good time to return to Erin White’s coverage of curator Chaedria LaBouvier’s experience working with the Guggenheim.

Lucy Ives at Art in America on Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne.

Erika Balsom and Barry Schwabsky each review Hal Forster’s What Comes After Farce? Art and Criticism at a Time of Debacle.

New Publication – Caleb Kelly’s ‘Tangible/Intangible: The Sound of Sculpture’

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s new issue in the STATEMENTS essay series is now available for purchase at the Gallery shop. Commissioned in association with the Govett-Brewster’s 2018 exhibition ‘Sensory Agents‘ and edited by exhibition curator Sarah Wall, Tangible/Intangible: The Sound of Sculpture looks to sculptural practices that explicitly employ sound as a medium.

Scholar and curator Caleb Kelly explores the development of sound arts through sculptural form and installation practices. The practices that he investigates uncover a changing understanding of the nature of sculpture itself and a new perspective of the importance of the senses in our appreciation of the arts. Tangible/Intangible includes examples from a diverse range of international artists such as Laurie Anderson, Vicky Browne, Eric Demetriou Rafael Ferrer, Rebecca Horn, Paul Kos, Len Lye, Ross Manning, Max Neuhaus, Jean Tinguely, Takis and Pia van Gelder.

Order a copy here.

IMG_7472

Tangible/Intangible: The Sound of Sculpture is published as part of the Govett-Brewster’s STATEMENTS series of commissioned essays. Other titles in the series include texts by Len Lye and Erika Balsom.

IMG_7483

Lockdown Reading #1

20200129_152831
Edward Hopper, ‘Second Story Sunlight’, 1960

Having recently spent some time with the  Fondation Beyeler Edward Hopper exhibition, this piece in the Guardian caught my attention – the artist of the coronavirus age?

Oliver Basciano at the TLS on Europe’s last leprosarium.

The Guardian reviews Diana Souhami’s new book No Modernism Without Lesbians.

Listening to this interview with curator David Campany alongside a virtual tour of Walker Evans Revisited at Kunsthalle Mannheim – both here.

And Bob Dylan’s new track … (an elegy for the counterculture at Pitchfork).

 

 

 

 

Len Lye’s ‘Sky Snakes’

IMG_5238

This weekend the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery celebrated its 50th birthday with a party and the debut of Len Lye’s Sky Snakes. There’s a fair bit of coverage in the New Zealand media, including this from the NZ Herald and this from Radio NZ.

Sky Snakes is not so familiar to most of Lye’s audience. The original, single, Sky Snake featured in the 1965 Buffalo Festival of the Arts and also at the Howard Wise Gallery in NY (also in 1965). The original work is in the Len Lye Foundation Collection but never exhibited. A single Sky Snake was recently reconstructed by the Len Lye Foundation and featured in the recent Len Lye: Motion Composer exhibition at Museum Tinguely in Basel.

20200126_120925
‘Sky Snake’ in ‘Len Lye: Motion Composer’, Museum Tinguely, Oct 2019 – Jan 2020. Credit: Paul Brobbel

The presentation of the work at the Govett-Brewster is a seven-piece ensemble of Sky Snakes and one of the largest if most gentle of Lye’s kinetic sculptures. Here’s a slow-motion clip of the work performing.

 

 

Australian Bushfires

20200105_151047
Auckland Domain, 5 January 2020 (credit: Paul Brobbel)

This was the view outside Auckland Museum on 5 January 2020, the Australian Bushfires making themselves felt across the Tasman.

This link outlines how you can make a financial donation in support of people affected by the fires. Also check out responses from the art community, including the Australian Bushfire Appeal Print Sale where proceeds from buying a print from over 50 photographers will go towards victims of the fires.

20200105_151851
Auckland Domain, 5 January 2020 (credit: Paul Brobbel)

 

 

Motion Composer

I’ve been waiting to cover the Len Lye: Motion Composer exhibition at Museum Tinguely in Basel in detail closer to the end of the project; however, above is a quick look through the catalogue published by Kehrer Verlag and Museum Tinguely and here is a review of the catalogue by John Hurrell at EyeContact.

The publication features writing by Scott Anthony, Tyler Cann, Wystan Curnow, Roger Horrocks, Andres Pardey, Janine Randerson, Barry Schwabsky, Ann Stephen, Megan Tamati-Quennell, Roland Wetzel, as well as myself.

You can order from Kehrer Verlag here or from Museum Tinguely here.

Waking Up Slowly

IMG_5104.jpg
Elizabeth Thomson, ‘Waking Up Slowly’ 2019. Photo: Bryan James

New exhibitions open on Saturday at the Govett-Brewster so a quick post concerning the exhibition that has just ended, Waking Up Slowly: Elizabeth Thomson and Len Lye. We commissioned this project from curator Greg O’Brien.

You can read a copy of the catalogue here.

Len Lye on the Home Front

IMG_1927
Kill or Be Killed (1942)

This week I’ll be introducing a programme of Len Lye’s films at Stadtkino Basel accompanying the symposium hosted by Museum Tinguely and the University of Basel. Len Lye on the Home Front presents eight of Lye’s films made during the Second World War and a work from his early days in New York, the March of Time newsreel, Night Club Boom.

Many of these films are rarely screened. Musical Poster #1 (1942) and Kill or Be Killed (1942) tend to be represented in summaries of Lye’s filmmaking; however, Newspaper Train (1942), When the Pie was Opened (1941) and Work Party (1942) in particular deserve more attention.

Len Lye at Museum Tinguely #1

20190905_105304

I’m just coming to the end of three days in Basel assisting with some preparation for Museum Tinguely’s upcoming exhibition Len Lye – Motion Composer. Opening in October, this will be the most substantial exhibition of Lye’s work ever seen in Europe. Previous surveys at the Pompidou Centre and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham were large exhibitions but Motion Composer is a very deep dig into the Len Lye Foundation collections at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

More info on the exhibition is here.

20190905_122548
Working with a view of the Rhine

One of the highlights of being in Basel again is seeing Jean Tinguely’s restored Méta-Harmonie II.  Likewise, with Motion Composer, Museum Tinguely will be including a number of recently restored Len Lye works from the Art Institute of Chicago and the Albright-Knox Art Museum.

20190905_144847
Jean Tinguely, MétaHarmonie II, 1979