• Len Lye

Auckland Art Fair 2021 is proud to present, for the first time in Auckland, Len Lye’s major kinetic sculpture Big Blade, courtesy of our Museum Partner, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre in partnership with TECHNIX.

Blade is one of Lye’s formative kinetic sculptures. Inspired by the artist’s ability to shake materials like steel and find the natural modes of vibration, Lye said of the work:

“I see Blade as three evocative sensory moments of past experience which have sunk down into my thighs. That’s how Blade shines and quivers when it is doing its stuff – flashing light, shimmering fish and taut quivering horse.”

As a student of movement, Lye choreographed these vibrations and motions, automating performances and making one of the most vibrant and energetic bodies of modern sculpture. It is no wonder that Blade has become one of Lye’s seminal works and a firm fan favourite.

Blade was conceived by Len Lye in New York in the late 1950s and realised posthumously by the Len Lye Foundation based on the artist’s concept and designs.

Lye’s original, smaller Blade was made in 1959, but he envisaged larger versions that went beyond the technology available during his lifetime. Lye passed on all of his work to the Len Lye Foundation, and encouraged it to realise this and other sculptures posthumously. New Plymouth’s Wind Wand (2000) and Wellington’s Water Whirler (2006) are two similar examples.

Len Lye (1901–1980) is arguably New Zealand’s most internationally recognized artist. He is best known for his pioneering experimental films and dynamic kinetic sculptures, which have been shown in major museums all over the world.

To find out more about visiting the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre this summer, click HERE.

Opening Hours

  • VIP PREVIEW: Wednesday 24 February, 11am-5pm
  • OPENING NIGHT: Wednesday 24 February, 5pm-9pm
  • ART PARTY: Friday 26 February, 5-9pm
  • PUBLIC DAYS: Thursday 25 February, 11am-5pm
  • Friday 26 February, 11am-5pm
  • Saturday 27 February, 10am-5pm
  • Sunday 28 February, 10am-5pm


  • The Cloud
  • Queen's Wharf, 89 Quay Street
  • Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland, 1010