Len Lye: A Biography

Roger Horrocks

Author: Roger Horrocks
Format: Paperback, Ebook
Pages: 440
Published: December 2015
Availability: Out of print/stock
Specs: 24.0cm x 18.0cm
ISBN: 9781869402471

Available in Ebook

Len Lye: A Biography tells for the first time the story of an extraordinary New Zealander – a brilliant artist with an international career who never lost the informality, the energy and the independence of spirit of his South Pacific origins.

Lye (1901–80) was a charismatic artist of enormous talent who became a leading figure in international modernism. He was a gifted innovator in many areas of the arts – film, painting, sculpture, photography and writing. Horrocks' exhaustive study of Lye is the result of twenty years of research and is based on interviews with many of those close to the artist, as well as on voluminous documentary sources. It will unquestionably place Lye alongside Mansfield and Hodgkins as a great New Zealand expatriate artist. Generous illustrations give striking examples of Lye's art and a vivid sense of the man and his world.


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In this first biography of Lye, Horrocks uses his considerable skills to create a consistently searching study and informative portrait of this remarkable artist and his exuberant engagements not only with painting, woodcuts, poetry, critical writing and thought, but also pioneering work with film, photography and sculpture. . . . This is indeed an exemplary study wholly in tune with its subject. – Cassandra Fusco, Craft Arts International

This is an excellent account and belongs in every art book collection. –Tim Gruer, Groove 107fm

[Roger Horrocks] has done more than anyone to ensure we know as much as we do about one of our finest artists. With these two back in print and the completion of the Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth, the artist’s legacy and reputation look secure for many years to come. – Paul Little, North & South