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Liliane Lijn in conversation with Anna McNay


The Heatherley School of Fine Art, 75 Lots Road, SW10 0RN 

Monday 16 January



Born into a family of artists, Liliane Lijn knew that she wanted to pursue this path from an early age. Moving to Switzerland when she was 14, Lijn went to Paris four years later with the intention of becoming an artist but, initially, studied Archaeology and History of Art at the Sorbonne and Ecole du Louvre. Lijn became friends with the Beat poets, Gregory Corso and Nazli Nour, collaborating with Nour to create her innovative Poem Machines, kinetic sculptures interwoven with text.

Her interest in physics and astronomy has led to Lijn having residencies at NASA and working with scientists to create art out of stardust and sunbeams. She also draws heavily on mythology, Buddhism and the female archetype, using a broad range of materials, media and new technologies and merging them with images from both nature and industry, to create deeply resonating works, such as the Cosmic Dramas series, which has been described as ‘the beginnings of a consciousness of spectacular feminist contemporary art’.

Lijn has worked across many media – kinetic sculpture, film, performance and collage – to explore language, mythology and the relationship between light and matter.

In conversation with Anna McNay, Lijn will discuss her origins and influences, the development of some of her – often ongoing – projects, the crossover between art and science, her early visions and how she sees the role of the artist today.

About Liliane Lijn

Liliane Lijn was born in New York in 1939 and now lives and works in London. Internationally exhibited since the 1960s, Lijn’s works are in numerous collections including Tate, the British Museum, the V&A, and FNAC, Paris. Best known for her work with language and light, Lijn’s recent exhibitions of her works with text include City Sculpture Projects 1972, Henry Moore Institute; Beat Generation, Centre George Pompidou, Paris; A Lesson in Sculpture with John Latham, Henry Moore Institute. Power Game, a socio-political word game and performance first staged in 1974, was enacted at Southbank Centre during this summer’s Power of Power festival. Projected exhibitions include Liliane Lijn at One Canada House, Canary Wharf, London and Spiritualized, IMMA, Dublin. 


About Anna McNay

Anna McNay is a freelance art writer and editor. She is Deputy Editor at State Media and former Arts Editor at DIVA magazine. She contributes regularly to Studio International, Photomonitor, Elephant magazine and The Mail on Sunday and has been widely published in a variety of other print and online art and photography journals and newspapers. She has written numerous catalogue essays and regularly hosts panel and in conversation events at galleries around London.

This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.