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LILIANE LIJN - WORKS 1959-80
Liliane Lijn’s work has long evaded categorisation. Identified as part of ‘an alternative sixties art’, her peripheral place in histories of modernism ignores her groundbreaking early work which explored new possibilities for drawing, sculpture and performance. Born in New York, Lijn came to Paris in 1959 to study at the Sorbonne. There she met influential members of the Surrealist group and gained access to the circle around Andre Breton. It was in Paris that she became involved with the group of artists and writers centred around the Beat Hotel, home to William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and many others. At the beginning of the 60s, Lijn was intermittently based in New York where she experimented with industrial plastics. Her utopian use of technology reached a high point at the end of the decade with the kinetic Liquid Reflections and the great electrified, copper-wound towers of the Light Column series. A pioneer of feminist art, through the 1970s the artist utilised and subverted military-industrial equipment and devised performance pieces which uncovered the dynamics of aggression and acquisition. This is the first retrospective exhibition of Liliane Lijn’s early work and is a timely reassessment of an important artist who has been based in the UK for much of her working life. The exhibition has been curated by David Alan Mellor of the University of Sussex who is an authority on twentieth-century visual culture.