Liliane Lijn brings suite of sculpted female archetypes to mima in Middlesbrough

By Mark Sheerin | 13 December 2012
Two colourful figurative sculptures stand in a darkened gallery
Liliane Lijn, Cosmic Dramas (installation view)© Liliane Lijn

Exhibition Preview: Liliane Lijn: Cosmic Dramas, mima, Middlesbrough, until February 28 2012

When you consider the history of the female form in art, Liliane Lijn’s figurative monuments are something of a shock. Her women tower in space, have sprouted wings, and fire laser beams. We are a long way from the Venus de Milo.

But that is surely the intention. While still figurative, this work rebukes a long line of pre-21st century passive feminine subjects (those so beloved of male artists throughout the ages). Her work is spoken about as a “new female archetype”.

Indeed and as usual, Lijn’s materials and media are quite new. The London-based sculptor brings a love of technology to all her work. She has, after all, previously worked with polymer lenses, glass-reinforced polyester, aerogel and whatever it takes to embody her contemporary visions.

mima is pitching its new exhibition as somewhere between sculpture and theatre. And it surely deserves a stage. Her three figures are borne out of a decade of research into female iconography.

Apart from one called the Bride, her new roles for women include The Lady of the Wild Things, Woman of War, and the Electric Bride.

  • Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4.30pm (7pm Thursday, 12pm-4pm Sunday, closed December 24-26, 31 and January 1). Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @mimamodernart.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.
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