Len Lye

1901 (Christchurch, New Zealand) – 1980 (Warwick, N.Y.)

Lye was a pioneering artist obsessed with motion, too little known. He first encountered Flaherty when working in a shop in Samoa. Nicholson introduced the newcomer to Graves, who with Riding became a close friend and helped fund his first film. He met Richter (a long friendship ensued) and Eisenstein above a London bookshop. Cavalcanti urged him to meet Grierson, who drew him into the GPO Film Unit, where he met Jennings and especially McLaren (they were mutual admirers). He was given some antlers by O’Keeffe, toured with Cage and Creeley, and painted some over-convincing flame effects for Hitchcock.

Len Lye knew…