Saatchi unveils global art museum brand

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Saatchi & Saatchi Design and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery have released details of a new global art museum brand brand as the New Plymouth institution prepares to open its doors with the Len Lye Centre in July.

“Saatchi & Saatchi’s global reach, expertise, relationships and media access will help grow the Govett-Brewster’s reputation and broaden audience awareness about what we do,” says Govett-Brewster director Simon Rees.

“The partnership will have a positive impact in securing additional media attention, generating greater brand awareness and selling the Govett-Brewster experience and architecture as destination tourism.”

Saatchi & Saatchi Design Worldwide collaborated with the Govett-Brewster team to develop a cohesive brand identity which marries the Govett-Brewster with the spirit of Len Lye’s world-renowned kinetic art. It will appear on a wide range of material including signage, merchandise, uniforms and print design.

Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Director of Design Derek Lockwood says: “We set out to create an integrated brand solution that positions the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery as the home of kinetic art, and, as such, a destination of worldwide significance.

“Over a night we photographed the movement of Len Lye’s Wind Wand sculpture on the New Plymouth foreshore, with the images captured becoming the graphic marks that feature in the identity.  These marks represent the energy and vibrancy of the New Plymouth district and its people.”

Nicky Bell, the ceo of Saatchi NZ, which is partnering with the Govett-Brewster on launch communications, said: “We believe the new combined art museum and its striking architecture will be a powerful creative and cultural beacon for national and international visitors to New Zealand.

“You only need to look at the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) in Tasmania to see the positive effect art combined with destination architecture can have on a place,” she said. “This is an incredible asset for Taranaki and for the whole country. We are very proud to be playing a supporting role.”

The Len Lye Centre will be New Zealand’s first institution dedicated to a single artist –pioneering filmmaker and kinetic sculptor Len Lye. Opening to the public on Saturday 25 July, it will operate as a combined art museum with the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. The opening weekend programme will be available online through the Govett-Brewster website from 1 July.

The Govett-Brewster building in New Plymouth closed in April 2013 for earthquake strengthening, compliance, upgrades and construction of the Len Lye Centre. The Govett-Brewster team has remained active with off-site exhibitions, touring exhibitions, public programmes and work with other cultural organisations.

About Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is New Zealand’s contemporary art museum located in the coastal city of New Plymouth in Taranaki on the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Since opening in 1970, the Gallery has dedicated itself to innovative programming, focused collection development and audience engagement. It has earned a strong reputation nationally and internationally for its global vision and special commitment to contemporary art of the Pacific Rim. The Govett-Brewster is also home to the collection and archive of the modernist filmmaker and kinetic sculptor Len Lye (1901–1980).

A greatly expanded museum will be re-launched on 25 July 2015 with the addition of the Len Lye Centre. With its curved exterior walls of mirror-like stainless steel, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre will be the country’s first example of destination architecture linked to contemporary art.

The new building – designed by award-winning New Zealand architects Patterson Associates – is the repository of the works, archive and spirit of Len Lye. Its expansive exhibition spaces, archive room, education studio and 62-seat cinema will give the Govett-Brewster the means to truly research, exhibit and disseminate the unique work and vision of Len Lye. It will be New Zealand’s first art museum dedicated to a single artist.

About Len Lye 

Len Lye was an experimental filmmaker, poet, painter, kinetic sculptor and creative visionary ahead of his time. Most of his works were so revolutionary that technology literally had to catch up to him – meaning much of Lye’s work was not realised in his own lifetime.

Born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1901, Lye spent most of his career as an artist in London and New York.  His sculptures are held in the collections of the world’s most prestigious institutions of modern art including the collections of several major art museums, MoMA and Whitney Museum in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. Lye’s film work is included in the New Zealand film archive, the British Film Institute and the Museum of Modern Art.

In 1977 Lye returned to his homeland to oversee the first New Zealand exhibition of his work at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. He called it the “swingiest art gallery in the antipodes”. Shortly before his death in 1980, Lye and his supporters established the Len Lye Foundation, to which he gifted his entire collection. His collection was gifted on the condition that a suitable and permanent home be created in which his works could be fully realised. The Len Lye Centre will be New Zealand’s first art museum to be dedicated to a single artist.

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