Kinetic sculptor Anne Lilly uses carefully engineered motion to shift and manipulate our perception of time and space. Her highly ordered and precisely constructed interactive sculptures move in strikingly organic, fluid and mesmeric ways. Employing opposing modalities -- analytical and intuitive, rational and emotional -- Lilly's sculptures elicit new connections between the physical space outside ourselves and our own private, psychological domain. They are usually fabricated in machined stainless steel, but require the viewer's touch to initiate movement: pressing clinical qualities against the sensuous response of each piece.
Lilly holds a Bachelor of Architecture, Magna Cum Laude, from Virginia Tech, and has taught at Maud Morgan Arts and Massachusetts College of Art. She collaborated with the DeCordova Museum’s education department to develop and administer an annual institute for teachers, using kinetic sculpture to link the instruction of art and science in middle and high schools (funded by the NEA).
Lilly was awarded the Blanche E. Colman grant in 2011, and in 2010 was nominated for the James and Audrey Foster Prize of Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. She has created public artworks for the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA, the City of Boston’s ParkArts program, and the Fort Point Public Arts Series. Her work was included in the 2007 DeCordova Annual Exhibition, in Lincoln, MA, has been collected by the DeCordova Museum, the Middlebury College Museum of Art, and is held in corporate and private collections internationally. Through competitive selection in 2005 she was awarded a public commission for a large scale sculpture on the Boston Harbor. The Boston Globe named her 2003 FPAC exhibition one of the ten best exhibits of the year. In 2012 Lilly will be artist-in-residence at the Art Institute of Boston.
Over years of experimentation both with wind-driven outdoor works and with motors and digital controllers, I have found that a direct human touch is the unique source of energy that is meaningful and relevant to me.
When a viewer touches my work, he/she imparts energy to it, and that energy lingers and slowly decays. Each oscillation differs minutely from the last as the work gradually comes to rest. This quiet tapering to stillness, gently asymptotic, yields movement that is intentional and structured, yet relaxed, hypnotic and ever-natural.
In touching the work directly, the viewer directly perceives the heft and choreographic possibility inherent to the work, a knowledge not to be had from a merely visual encounter. As we march in our collective life toward continuous immersion in digital simulacra, toward a forgetting of the laden-lightness of the world, this sort of experience – of a material, a mechanism, a movement, only to be known by touching – is what I want to create for myself, and what I want to share with my viewer.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2012 Two person exhibition with painter Joel Janowitz, Art Institute of Boston Gallery, Boston, MA
2011 “About the Sea,” South Street Gallery, Greenport, NY
2011 “Paintings, Drawings, & Sculpture,” Victoria Munroe Fine Art, Boston, MA
2010 “Icons & Altars,” New Art Center, Newton, MA
2010 “Sensed/Unseen,” curated by Ashley Billingsley, GASP Gallery, Brookline, MA
2009 “Opening Lines,” curated by Susan Goldwitz, New Art Center, Newton, MA
2008 “Move Me: Kineticism in Art,” Cushing Martin Gallery, Stonehill College, Easton, MA
2008 “Summer Group Show,” Rice/Polak Gallery, Provincetown, MA
2007 “DeCordova Annual Exhibition,” curated by Rachel Rosenfield Lafo & Nick Capasso, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA
2006 “Private Universes,” curated by Kathleen Bitetti, Lillian Immig Gallery, Emmanuel College, Boston, MA
2006 “Art for the Garden,” curated by Julie Levesque, Newton, MA
2006 “Summer Show,” Rice/Polak Gallery, Provincetown, MA
2005 “Annual Kinetic Exhibition,” curated by Hyland Mather, Andenken Gallery, Denver, CO
2005 Two person exhibition with painter Linda Lowe, Arden Gallery, Boston, MA
2005 “Art for the Garden,” curated by Julie Levesque, Newton, MA
2004 “Spiritual Geometry,” curated by Susan Goldwitz, New Art Center, Newton, MA
2003 “ArtSpace Sculpture Walk,” curated by Denise Markonish, Farmington Canal Trail, New Haven, CT
2003 “Unfolding Geometries,” two person exhibition with photographer Don Eyles, FPAC Gallery, Boston, MA
2003 “Frag,” curated by Jed Speare, Evos Arts, Lowell, MA
2003 “The Ballad of Wires & Hands,” curated by Dana Moser, New Art Center, Newton, MA
2002 “Gadgets, Gizmos & Games,” curated by Craig Bloodgood, Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, MA
2002 “Annual Kinetic Exhibition,” curated by Joseph Riche, Andenken Gallery, Denver, CO
2002 “The Experiment Show,” curated by Jeff Smith, The Revolving Museum, Boston, MA
2001 “Touchable Stories: Fort Point,” curated by Shannon Flattery, Touchable Stories Group, Boston, MA
2001 “2001: A Space Artessey,” curated by Jed Speare, Mobius Artists’ Group Fundraiser, Boston, MA
2001 “Internal Drive,” curated by Joanne Kaliontsis, FPAC Gallery, Boston, MA
2001 “Schematically Inclined,” curated by Roland Smart, Gallery Bershad, Somerville, MA
1999 “Mobility,” Zeitgeist Gallery, two person exhibition with painter Karsten Kunert, Cambridge, MA
Museum and Corporate Collections
Middlebury College Museum of Art
DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park
2007 “Memorial for Benjamin Thompson,” Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
2005 “Watercross,” South Bay Harbor Trail, Boston, MA
2004 “Family Dasyatidae,” Great Bay Restaurant, Boston, MA
2001-2002 “Us & Them,” Ramsay Park and Boston Common (temporary installation), City of Boston
2001 “Long Arms,” Summer Street Bridge (temporary installation), Fort Point Public Art Series, Boston, MA
2012 Artist in Residence, Art Institute of Boston
2011 Recipient, Blanche E. Colman Award
2011 Nominee, Brother Thomas Bezanson Award
2010 Nominee, James and Audrey Foster Prize
1990 First Place with Distinction, Virginia Masonry Prize
1990 AIA Medal and Certificate for Excellence in the Study of Architecture
1989 Honorable Mention, Otis Elevator International Competition
1986 First Place, Harold Hill Memorial Competition
Charlotte Leuzon, Va Voom TV, Vimeo Channel, October 2011.
Agustin Marangoni, “La Perfeccion del Movimiento,” Tecniarts, July 27, 2011.
Emilio Gomariz, “Anne Lilly,” Triangulation Blog, Feb. 15, 2011.
Azurebumble, “Aesthetic Investigations,” Azurebumble Blog, Feb. 16, 2011.
Greg Cook, “Unholy Contraptions,” Bostong Phoenix, Jun. 25, 2010.
Cate McQuaid, “Shocks to the Senses,” Boston Globe, Jun. 23, 2010.
Stephen Anable and Lauren Marsh, “Mount Auburn Cemetery as a Mosaic of American Culture,” Sweet Auburn, Spring 2010.
Chris Bergeron, “out of Line: Artists Turn Geometry Into Creativity,” MetroWest Daily News, Jan. 25, 2009.
Eli Sidman, “Anne Lilly’s Purity of Motion,” Nature of Nepture, Sep. 8, 2008.
Cate McQuaid, “Captivating Sculptures,” Boston Globe, Aug. 30, 2007.
Gwendolyn Holbrow, “New Movements in Kinetic Sculpture,” Art New England, Aug.-Sep. 2007.
Richard Cherecwich, “Allston Artist’s Art Needs the Viewer’s Touch,” Allston-Brighton TAB, Aug. 10, 2007.
Chris Bergeron, “Art Matters,” MetroWest Daily News, May 20, 2007.
Mary Jo Palumbo, “Shape Shifters,” Boston Herald, Jan. 24, 2004.
Cate McQuaid, “2003 Galleries: Cate McQuaid’s Top 10 Picks of 2003,” Boston Globe, Dec. 28, 2003. Maureen Ryan, “Early T-Birds Get Their Art,” Boston Globe, Nov. 9, 2003.
Cate McQuaid, “Photographer, Sculptor, Fit Well Together in ‘Geometries’,” Boston Globe, Jun. 27, 2003.
Cate McQuaid, “ParkArts Sculptures Show Off Their Moves,” Boston Globe, Dec. 12, 2001.
Teaching and Lectures
Principles of Abstract Sculpture, Art Institute of Boston, Spring Semester 2010.
Working with Movement, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA, Winter Intersession 2012.
Kinetic Art, DeCordova School, Lincoln, MA, Winter 2012.
Lecture, North Bennet Street School, Boston, MA, September 2011.
Panel Discussion, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA, June 2011.
Drawing in the Fourth Dimension, Maud Morgan Visual Art Center, Cambridge, MA, Summer 2011.
Machining for Artists, Studio Class, Somerville, MA, Spring, Summer and Fall 2010.
Engaging with Movement, Maud Morgan Visual Art Center, Cambridge, MA, Fall 2010.
Working with Movement, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA, Summer 2008.
Kinetic Sculpture and the Art of Wind Dynamics, Summer Institute for Teachers, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA, August 2005, 2006, 2007. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Lecture, Board of Trustees Meeting, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA, May 2006.
Kinetics and the Art of Motion, DeCordova Museum School, Lincoln, MA, April 2006. Lecture, College of Performing and Visual Arts, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, 2003.
1990 Bachelor of Architecture, Five Year Degree with Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA. Magna Cum Laude.