Liliane Lijn

Biography of Liliane Lijn

Pioneering American artist Liliane Lijn has been transforming scientific theory into art since the 1960s. Working with kinetic sculpture, film, performance, and collage, she explores language, mythology and the relationship between light and matter. Her highly-sought after work often incorporates eastern philosophy, mythology, science, art, as well as technology.


Born in 1939, Liliane Lijn completed her study of archaeology at the Sorbonne and Art History at the École du Louvre, Paris before beginning her experiments with light and text in 1962. Known as Poem Machines, these kinetic artworks reveal the fluidity of language by enabling it to change constantly. She is particularly renowned for her cone-shaped Koan series, which are beautifully constructed visual riddles, one of which can be found in the Tate’s permanent collection.


Liliane Lijn is always keen to incorporate industrial practices in her work, which she describes as being “a constant dialogue between opposites, my sculptures use light and motion to transform themselves from solid to void, opaque to transparent, formal to organic.” Since 2005 she has been working with Aerogel, a material developed by NASA to collect interstellar space dust.


In 1986 Liliane Lijn had a prominent role in the Venice Biennale, exhibiting the computer controlled drama entitled Conjunction of OppositesHer work can be found in numerous public collections including The British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, both in London, MoMA in New York and the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

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