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Jim Allen
The Skin of Years


Jim Allen: The Skin of Years

New Zealand artist and educator Jim Allen is both a formidable influence upon his followers and a prolific artist in his own right. A leader of post-object practices in the global south, Allen’s immersive installations and light touch share much with his self-proclaimed heroes, experimental filmmaker and sculptor Len Lye and Brazilian kineticist Hélio Oitica. This robust reader contains over 300 pages of interviews with Allen, conducted largely by art historian Tony Green and fellow artist Phil Dadson. Through these colourful and often humorous oral histories, one can trace the narrative of Allen’s life, including his participation in WWII and formation as an artist and teacher—and sailor!—from the 1950s until the present day. An important record of a woefully understudied figure of postwar art, The Skin of Years presents Allen’s dogged persistence to engage in what he has called “the art of the possible.”

Edited by Gwynneth Porter
340 pp / 372 b&w and 133 colour
ISBN 978-0-9876593-5-4 (hardcover)
ISBN 978-0-9876593-6-1 (softcover)

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