April 26, 2015 - Govett-Brewster Art Gallery - Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre opening July 2015
April 26, 2015

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre opening July 2015

Photo: Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Paul Brobbel.

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre opening July 2015

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre
Corner of Devon St West and Queen St
New Plymouth 4342
New Zealand


We’re pleased to announce that after more than a decade of blood, sweat and tears, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and its new extension, the Len Lye Centre, will be opening in July this year. 

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is New Zealand’s museum of contemporary art located in the dynamic coastal city of New Plymouth in Taranaki on the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Since opening in 1970, in the age of hats and walk-socks, the museum has dedicated itself to innovative programming, focused collection development and audience engagement. It has earned a strong reputation nationally and international recognition for its global vision and commitment to contemporary art of the Pacific Rim. The Govett-Brewster is also home to the collection and archive of the seminal modernist filmmaker and kinetic sculptor Len Lye.

The Govett-Brewster was founded, in 1962, as a result of a vision had by Monica Romaine Brewster (nee Govett, 1886–1973). A renowned Craven, a chain-smoking, liberal, pacifist and globetrotter, before the age of air travel; Monica Brewster envisaged an art museum for her hometown that would be an international beacon for the art and ideas of their day. 

The museum was emboldened by the addition to its legacy of the work of Len Lye (1901–80). Lye spent his career in London and New York, leaving his native New Zealand behind as a young man in his twenties. Lye’s desire to work with only the most compatible gallery led him to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth. In 1977 the Govett-Brewster presented “Kinetic Works,” the first survey of Lye’s work held anywhere in the world and the first exhibition of Lye’s work in his homeland.

Just months before his death in 1980, Lye established the Len Lye Foundation to continue his artistic vision and, recognising the strength of the relationship between artist and museum, he chose the Govett-Brewster to be the home of his work.  

As aforementioned, a greatly expanded museum will be re-launched in July with the addition of the Len Lye Centre. The new mirror-finished building—designed by award-winning New Zealand architects Patterson Associates Ltd—is the repository of the works, archive, and spirit of Len Lye. (No it won’t melt any cars!) Its expansive exhibition spaces, archive room, education studio, and dedicated 62-seat cinema will give the Govett-Brewster means to truly research, exhibit and disseminate the unique work and vision of Len Lye.

If you would like to add your name to a long list of remarkable individuals, not to mention a lunatic fringe, associated with the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Monica Brewster, and Len Lye—keep an eye on e-flux announcements in the weeks and months to come. We will be looking to recruit dynamic curatorial, technical, and commercial professionals to help lead the institution into the future.

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre opening July 2015
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
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