Liliane Lijn was born in New York in 1939. She studied Archeology at the Sorbonne and Art History at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris before becoming artist in resident at a plastics factory in her native New York in 1961 where she experimented with fire and acids. This experience informed her unique approach to the manipulation of materials and led to experimentation with light, movement, poetry and liquids as key components of her art practice. At this time she began to work directly with manufacturers - a practice she employs to this day.
By the early 1960s she had established a reputation as one of the leading kinetic artists of her era. Lijn’s work radically expanded the possibilities of sculpture by employing a plurality of industrial materials that were manipulated into compositions conveying her diverse set of interests including science, technology, eastern philosophy and mythological portrayals of the female. Lijn has described her work as ‘A constant dialogue between opposites, my sculptures use light and motion to transform themselves from solid to void, opaque to transparent, formal to organic.’
By incorporating kinetic elements within her artworks, Lijn’s ouvre goes beyond the three-dimensional associations of sculpture to provoke the senses of time and speed. This engagement with the fourth dimension and the limitations of human perception can be witnessed throughout her work as she conducted her first research into invisibility at MIT in 1961 and continues in her current work with NASA. Such explorations into the technological properties of sculpture are also imbued with spiritual significance, as cosmonautical weightlessness in her work becomes equated with the weightless body of the bodhisattva in Buddhist texts.