Liliane Lijn was born in New York in 1939 and studied archaeology at the Sorbonne and art history at the École du Louvre, Paris (1958). She became an artist in residence in a plastics factory, experimenting with fire and acids and working with light, poetry, movement and liquids between 1961 and 1963, rapidly establishing herself as a leading kinetic artist through many international exhibitions.
In 1966 she moved to London. Her initial solo show was at the Hanover Gallery, London, in 1970, the first of many in Britain, Europe and New Zealand. She has featured in numerous group exhibitions in Britain, Europe and Japan, and is represented in important public and private collections in Britain, France, Australia and the United States. Lijn also works to commission, and among her most important public works are White Koan of 1972 (University of Warwick); Circle of Light of 1979 (Milton Keynes); Split Spiral Spin of 1980 (Birchwood Science Park, Warrington); Carbon Black of 1988 (Laboratory of the Government Chemist, Teddington); Argo of 1988 (Poole, Dorset); Inner Light of 1993 (Prudential Insurance, Reading), Dragon's Dance of 1994 (Marks and Spencer, Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff); and Earth Sea Light Koan of 1997 (Saint Mary's Hospital, Isle of Wight).
Lijn was the foremost exponent of kinetic art using plastics, liquids and light in the early 1970s. Viewed in virtual darkness, her early works combined clear plastic balls rolling on large revolving discs of clear plastic that encased liquids - the bubbles of which altered with the motion. Reflection and refraction further enriched these abstract pieces that were in constant movement.
"The central concept is of energy within matter. It is as if beneath the skin of a stone there is a luminous interior" wrote Lijn of Inner Light of 1993, which is sited on the Thames at Reading. "In this sculpture the inner light seeped through a small central gap, whereas I wanted it to shine through the stone." She made another, smaller sculpture using Pentelicon marble, which changes radically from day to night. "During the day it is a formal geometric shape with the faintest glimmer of light seen through the gap between the two halves. Light which suggests another dimension, this dimension increases as night falls until the surface of the sculpture becomes alive with light."
LIJN, LILIANE Crossing Map 1983 Thames & Hudson, London
VESTRELLI, MASCELLONI, H. SPURLING, MASINI, LIJN & BRETT Liliane Lijn: Light and Memory 2002 Rocca di Umbertide per l'Arte Contemporanea, Perugia
MELLOR, DAVID ALAN Liliane Lijn: Works 1959-1980 2005 Mead Gallery, University of Warwick, Coventry